West Virginia city touts “1st of its kind” anti-heroin push

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia city is teaming up police, schools, prosecutors, and community and faith-based groups for a first-of-its-kind approach to address drug abuse.

The Martinsburg Police Department and Berkeley County Schools announced The Martinsburg Initiative at Winchester Avenue Elementary on Monday.

Officials say the project will target at-risk children and troubled families, with a more specific focus on opiate and heroin prevention. They heralded it as the “first of its kind” in the United States.

Burke Street and Winchester Avenue elementary schools will serve as the pilot schools for the new initiative.

The program seeks to make schools the center of positive community life, anti-drug activity and learning.

Officials say the initiative relies on proven scientific research that connects adverse childhood experiences and likelihood of future drug use.

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