Local law-enforcement agencies participate in Mineral Wells Elementary drug-awareness event

MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. (WTAP) - Local law-enforcement agencies and first responders visited Mineral Wells Elementary on Wednesday to participate in the school's annual drug-education and awareness event.

The program, now in its' 12th year, features various classes taught by agencies in the state, ranging from the Wood County Sheriff's Office, 911 Center and West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Throughout the day, students in the fourth and fifth grade participate in activities that teach them about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol, and ask law enforcement questions to familiarize them with police and other first responders.

This year, vaping and its harmful effects were also a topic of discussion incorporated into the program.

Event organizers say the goal of the program is to educate and bring awareness to the dangers of drugs, especially to younger kids, as a way to break the cycle of addiction which contributes to the national opioid crisis.

"We're trying to help kids understand that it's not just hard drugs, but medication is causing our problems. Make sure they understand the impact of what medications can do", said William Marshall with the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.