News

StoryCorps: White-Elswick

“At that time in my life, I can only describe that as I was a forest fire burning out of control…”   Tony White, Program Director of the Morehead Intervention Center of Pathways, Inc., discusses his journey from addiction to long-term recovery and the work he now does to help other people struggling with addiction with Shelly Elswick, who has a son in recovery from a heroin...

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StoryCorps: Rogers-Handy

“They were alleging that we had widespread abuse of Oxycontin. I didn’t believe it…”   Kentucky 5th District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers tells his friend Tom Handy why he founded Operation UNITE, a first of its kind effort at combating painkiller abuse in southern and eastern Kentucky. Handy is chairman of the UNITE Board of Directors.   Produced...

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FDA commissioner holds listening session

PIKEVILLE – Dr. Robert Califf, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), heard concerns and comments about the growing prescription opioid epidemic during a visit to southeastern Kentucky August 18, 2016. “It’s obvious that this is a crushing epidemic … and you are in the epicenter,” Califf said during a stop at Pikeville Medical center as part of...

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Service Corps increases math scores

Through Operation UNITE’s “Too Good for Drugs” program, test scores increased 43 percent for drug prevention knowledge and 30 percent in math for students in third through fifth grades. The curricula served 1,573 students in 42 schools within 13 school districts this past year through the UNITE Service Corps (AmeriCorps) initiative. “One of the strongest drug prevention tools we have is...

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Using social media to fight opioid crisis

Operation UNITE is one of five organizations selected to participate in a pilot social media training program to help community-based organizations in Appalachia more effectively use social media to combat the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers and illegal opiates, such as heroin. The training is sponsored by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for...

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Seeking second chances

FRANKFORT – Nathan Teague made a mistake because of his substance abuse. Although he successfully completed treatment and is doing well in recovery, the non-violent, Class D felony, continues to haunt him. “Restaurant work is really the only job you can get with a felony,” Teague commented during a press conference at the Capitol Rotunda to announce the creation of a Criminal...

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USC: ‘Above and Beyond’

PRESTONSBURG – Four members of the 2015-16 UNITE Service Corps were recognized with going “Above and Beyond” during a year-end celebration program June 9, 2016. Shon Gray, Benji Hammons, Bethany Rockrohr and Kenna Spears were honored for “demonstrating passion and ingenuity in service to the youth of southern and eastern Kentucky,” said Nancy Hale, president/CEO of...

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SOAR Innovation Summit

PIKEVILLE – Over 1,100 people from across the country came to the SOAR Innovation Summit to hear about what our 54 county region is doing to shape our future. The focus of the day was about innovation and how SOAR could help these people connect, inspire, and shape the region. Among the dozens of booths showcasing the best of the region was Operation UNITE’s Hope Wall and information...

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SHND Camps begin June 14

Five free regional Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps conducted by former University of Kentucky all-star Jeff Sheppard will be conducted June 14 through June 23. All school-age youth are invited to participate in any of the camps, hosted by Operation UNITE, at the following dates and locations: Week 1 • Tuesday, June 14, at Martin (Warfield) Middle School in Warfield. • Thursday, June...

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23 awarded ‘I Am UNITE’ scholarships

Twenty-three high school seniors have been selected to receive 2016 “I Am UNITE” scholarships totaling $34,500 for being champions for anti-drug efforts. Each scholarship is worth $1,500 toward post-secondary expenses. Funding for the scholarships comes from proceeds of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit – the largest annual collaboration of professionals and advocates in the...

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