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American Counseling Association visits Marshall to discuss opioid crisis

On Tuesday, Marshall University met with the American Counseling Association to figure out ways for counselors to address the epidemic. (WCHS/WVAH)

The opioid crisis is affecting people not only in West Virginia, but nationwide.

On Tuesday, Marshall University met with the American Counseling Association to figure out ways for counselors to address the epidemic.

Dozens of students in the counseling program at Marshall University in South Charleston met the ACA to brainstorm solutions to help people beat their addictions.

Mary Beth Smith, program director with Prestera in Huntington said counselors need to be good listeners, supportive and encouraging.

Counselors said one of the hardest parts to deal with is when someone relapses, but that's why it's important to get to the root of the relapse and help the client work through those struggles.

“I think you definitely have to know how to meet people exactly where they are, expecting people to come in who've been in active addiction and they're using heroin, expecting them to come in and talk about their trauma right off, they're not going to do that, so you have to be able to meet the client where they are but to also help navigate and help show them where they need, what areas they need to work on,” Smith said.

Smith said addiction affects a person, the family and even the community. She said someone who came from a broken home or even a wealthy home can be battling addictions, but the person's response to those situations is what will help them be successful in overcoming their addiction.

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