A free Mountain State University lecture series on addiction continues Thursday, April 26, with a panel discussion featuring students who have overcome substance abuse problems.
"Substance Abuse: An Adolescent's Perspective" kicks off with a presentation by Stephanie Southall, a health and human resources specialist with the state Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.
Southall coaches providers and communities about evidence-based best practices, assists providers in achieving comprehensive substance abuse strategic action plans, and provides technical assistance and training. She develops and distributes a weekly electronic newsletter that covers data and research, evidence-based programs and practices, funding and partnership opportunities, and workforce opportunities for prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery.
Southall served for five years as residence life coordinator for judicial programs at West Virginia Wesleyan College, and five years as director of student activities and judicial coordinator at Glenville State College. In both of these positions, she facilitated alcohol, drug and violence prevention programming.
She began working with the West Virginia Prevention Resource Center in April 2007 as the underage drinking prevention specialist. In that role, Southall staffed the Underage Drinking Prevention Workgroup, a multi-agency statewide task force that collaborates on the issue of underage drinking. In addition, she is the WV Students Against Drunk Driving state co-coordinator for programming and is vice chair for the WV Collegiate Initiative to Address High Risk Alcohol Use.
Emily D. Meadows, regional school wellness specialist at RESA 1, will then moderate a panel discussion involving high school and college students.
Meadows received a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Rio Grande, a master's degree in health promotion from the University of Cincinnati, and a master's degree in teaching from the College of Mount St. Joseph.
Meadows is involved in numerous facets of health promotion within local schools and communities throughout Southern West Virginia. Growing up with two older siblings addicted to narcotics and alcohol as early as the 7th grade, Meadows' passion is substance abuse prevention. She is a member of the Summers County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership and the West Virginia Region 6 Governor's Regional Substance Abuse Task Force.
The Addiction Symposium series is hosted by MSU's School of Graduate Studies. Thursday's event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in Carter Hall auditorium and is open to parents, interested members of the community, and MSU students and faculty. No registration is required.
Mountain State University provides community outreach through the School of Graduate Studies symposium series. Each series is designed to inform community members of rising issues and assist in connecting affected individuals with resources.
"This series addresses the increasing threat of addiction affecting our young people, our families, and our communities," said William M. White, Ed.D., dean of the School of Graduate Studies. "Family support and knowledge are critical to successfully managing the heartbreaking issues that surround addiction."