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Rural Matters

Feb 19, 2018

John talks with Selena Culbertson (prevention coordinator at Dickenson County Behavioral Health Services), Seth Baker (Commonwealth attorney), Jason Dotson (from the recovery community), and Amy Duncan (VA Office of the Attorney General), all of whom are members of the Dickenson County Community Partners for Prevention Coalition. Dickenson County, in southwestern Virginia, is first in the state and sixth in the country in overdose deaths from opioids and related drugs.  The coalition is pushing out its message through social media (including cell phone messaging) and a series of billboards, in a campaign called Kindness Matters, which, among other things, tries to remove the stigma of opioid addiction. The coalition also works closely with school administrators, establishing food and hygiene pantries. The opioid crisis in the county has resulted in many grandparents raising grandchildren. A key to success: Don’t shame an addict; instead, show compassion. For helpful resources, visit