The Fayette County Health Department is looking to implement a new program to help combat the opioid crisis in the mountain state.
On Tuesday, city leaders, concerned residents and law enforcement officers gathered in Oak hill to discuss the Integrated Community Engagement program, also known as ICE. It originated in Europe and is aimed at preventing young people from getting involved in substance abuse.
It’s a community building system where we assess risk and protective factors,” Dr. Alfgeir Kristjansson Ph.D. said. “And we try to bring the community together to strengthen protective factors and drive down risk factors that really are the critical issues of concern for drug users and initiation,” he said. Kristjansson is a WVU professor who specializes in behavioral sciences. He is also the co-director of ICE.
He added that the program has seen decreases in not only illicit drug use, but tobacco and alcohol abuse as well. For example, in Iceland, teen alcohol abuse back in 1997 was at 40% but has since dropped to 5%.