To address the growing opioid crisis, academia, law enforcement, faith-based, health and community organizations have joined forces to launch The Martinsburg Initiative (TMI) -- an innovative approach to assessing, identifying and eliminating the basic causes of drug abuse. The initiative is spearheaded by the Martinsburg Police Department, Shepherd University, Berkeley County Schools, and the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. The initiative’s primary objective will focus on opiate, and specifically heroin, prevention.
“Shepherd University is proud to participate in The Martinsburg Initiative, an innovative program to address drug prevention, involving the collaborative partnership of law enforcement, community schools and our institution,” said Research!America board member Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D., president, Shepherd University. “This is the right time and the right place to make a difference that will benefit current and future generation(s) and serve as a transformational model to guide others through challenging situations related to the opioid crisis.”
The Martinsburg Initiative is applying the pioneering science of Dr. Vincent Felitti’s CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, which has found that adverse childhood experiences, like exposure to drugs and alcohol, can have a major impact on the physical and mental developmental of children.
TMI is built upon the unique relationship that exists between police, schools and families. The initiative is focusing on schools as the center for anti-drug programs, community organization and learning. The initiative’s leaders hope that a new sense of belonging, community pride and self-respect will positively impact children, strengthen families and empower communities. For more information, visit http://www.martinsburgpd.org/martinsburg-initiative.