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Community leaders propose substance abuse solutions to Fighting Addiction members

Sebastian Morris, Reporter

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Fighting Addiction and its members are hungry for a solution to the opioid crisis affecting the Tri-State area and met with community leaders Monday to discuss possible solutions.

Members of the club met with Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader as well as Scott Lemley, director of development and planning for Huntington.

Rader, one of the subjects of the recent Netflix documentary “Heroin(e),” criticized laws that make it difficult to support a family if the individual in question has a felony conviction.

Rader said she believes a 10-year minimum sentence is too harsh and felons should be given the opportunity for a second chance. She said current laws make it nearly impossible to support a family if an individual providing for one has a felony conviction.

“They’re not sitting down with their kids and asking them how their day is or if they need help with their homework,” Rader said.

Lemley said that longer treatment periods were necessary for individuals looking to seek recovery.

“Thirty days is worthless,” Lemley said.

At local drug rehabilition facility Recovery Point — a self check-in, voluntary treatment center — the minimum stay for treatment is eight months.

Mouhammed Sakkal, president of Fighting Addiction, said he wants his organization to impact city policy, as well as fill in holes in Cabell County where volunteers and funding are desperately needed.

Sakkal said one idea Fighting Addiction had at their first meeting last week is to create a network of support for students and children whose parents have suffered from substance abuse. Fighting Addiction also wants to help change the language surrounding substance abuse and recovery.

Sebastian Morris can be contacted at [email protected]

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