Marshall, others team up to train local leaders on opioid epidemic best practices

A local group focused on greater inclusion of, and education on, the opioid epidemic will host the second of six training sessions geared toward the faith-based community from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Central Christian Church, located at 1202 5th Ave. in Huntington.

“Humanizing the Epidemic: Personal Experiences of Addiction and Recovery” will offer personal stories from five local community members with substance use disorder and recovery experiences, according to Terry Collison, Faith Community United member and director of First Steps Wellness & Recovery. The training sessions, which are open to local leaders in the faith-based community in the Tri-State, are the result of Faith Community United of Huntington, which is a conglomerate of organizations including First Steps, the Huntington Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Marshall University, Marshall Health Addiction Services, the Huntington Black Pastors Ministerial Association, Downtown Ministerial Association, and United Way of the River Cities.

“After listening to local faith leaders about their needs, we’ve developed a six-part seminar series to understand and humanize substance use disorders,” said Lyn O’Connell, a Faith Community United member and Marshall Screening, Brief Intervention, Recovery and Training (SBIRT) clinical coordinator.

“This session will highlight recovery successes alongside family and faith leader’s experiences,” O’Connell said. Future sessions will include SBIRT training, resources, and how to effectively engage and respond to make an impact. No prior attendance is required.

The event is co-sponsored by Marshall’s Wellness Center, Marshall SBIRT and Marshall Health’s Addiction Services. For more information, contact Terry Collison at First Steps at or O’Connell at