By Jack “Alex” White III, columnist ~ “Small towns, big potential”
From Overall to Naked Creek, there is one issue that unites Page County: drug addiction.
You need look no further than the accompanying chart to see the crisis in our backyard. Using Page Valley News’ 2021 Page County Circuit Court reports, I found that nearly 70 percent of openly-indicted individuals in any given month face at least one drug charge.
The people of Page County know that addressing drug addiction isn’t about “doubling down” on the failed War on Drugs. Instead, it requires us all to support our loved ones, neighbors, and community institutions as we work together to break the vicious cycle of addiction.
That is why it has been so encouraging to see the establishment of Page County’s first-ever Drug Court–in addition to yeoman’s work from area law enforcement, nonprofits, and churches.
In light of the above, I wanted to make my own small contribution by sharing contact information for some of the area organizations doing that work. If even one person uses this information to volunteer, seek treatment, or refer a loved one, then this column will have done its job:
INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES & VOLUNTEERING
Page Alliance for Community Action, 540-742-9386.
Page One of Page County, Luray, VA 540-743-4357.
Page County Commonwealth Attorney: 540-743-4517.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT & MENTAL HEALTH
Northwestern Community Services Board 540-743-4548.
Northwestern CSB Peer Line (substance use) 833-626-1490.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 540-533-1832.
NAMI HELPLINE: 1-800-273-8255.
Crossroads Counseling: 540-843-2509.
TREATMENT REFERRALS & SUPPORT GROUPS
National Treatment Referral Routing Service: 24/7 referrals; 800-662-HELP (4357).
Strength In Peers, Peer Recovery Specialists/Peer Support, 540-217-0869.
Strength In Peers (Page County Community Resource Center) 540-742-7800
Narcotics Anonymous (National) 800-777-1515.
Blue Ridge Narcotics Anonymous 800-777-1515.
Jack “Alex” White III is the Executive Director of the Rural Leadership Initiative and the District 1 Representative on the Page County Economic Development Authority — where he was reported to have been “Virginia’s youngest government official” at the time of his appointment.
Alex is a lifelong native of Page County and graduate of Luray High School.
PREVIOUS COLUMNS ~ “Small towns, big potential”
No greater love than sacrifice
Time to stand up for ‘the little guy’
Open ‘thank you’ letter upon receiving Rural Spirit Award
Local government matters (now more than ever)
Rural Leadership Initiative announces first class of fully-funded students
As Luray makes headlines, Darryl Haley makes history
Thanking our county for an opportunity (and a lesson)
I’m still proud of Luray; here’s what that really means
State creates new way to benefit from solar panels
FOLLOW-UP on Telehealth: A ‘shot in the arm’ for places like us
Five years ago when we had a meeting on this issue there still was a prominent war on drugs mindset, no thought of drug courts and high incarceration and now at this time strides are being made to address this in a more humane way. Probation officers are telling people to get help and don’t violate yourself and this drug court is taking the first step of becoming a reality. Last year the Page County Forum addressed this issue and was attended by the sheriff and delegates. Though I feel more has to be done with hands on help for families involved and for those dealing with serious addiction issues at least these steps are being made. Here’s a synopsis of the meeting last year
It was a great meeting – as a forum board member, I have had the privilege of watching/reviewing it several times! We have made so much wonderful progress, and I am interested in continuing to push the issue – nothing worse than getting complacent in the last lap of an important race. Thank you for reading and having an interest in our community!
Thank you, Alex. There is more interest in putting together a follow up forum looking at addiction and recovery again soon.