Watch: Your Voice Your Future Town Hall: The impact of drugs and crime in the Ohio Valley

Your Voice Your Future Town Hall: The impact of drugs and crime in the Ohio Valley

A Your Voice, Your Future Town Hall was held by WTOV9 on Monday night at Eastern Gateway Community College.

The topic was drugs and crime and their impact on the Ohio Valley.

Panelists were William Ihlenfeld II, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia; Steubenville City Manager James Mavromatis; Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla; and Mark Games, CEO of Northwood Health Systems.

It started with a bang.

"We all have to come together, and we have to be able to be open-minded about helping people get back on track," Ihlenfeld said.

And it continued for 90 minutes.

"That's what is great about an event like this. I don't think anyone up here can say we are doing it perfectly," Ihlenfeld said. "We need to look at ourselves and see what we can do better. One thing I see that we can do better is working in conjunction with partners in cities far from here -- Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore -- those are the source cities for the Ohio Valley."

Along the way, there was a lot of discussion about the children and teens who call the Ohio Valley home and the future that awaits them.

"How can you tell a child that drugs will kill them when they go home and see mommy and daddy snorting up or shooting up?" Abdalla asked.

"It starts in the home first," Mavromatis said.

There was also talk about treatment and the deficiencies here and the progress that has been made.

"It is possible to receive treatment on outpatient basis successfully and quickly," Games said. "We have no waiting time at Northwood Health Systems for those outpatient programs."

"You can spend all the money you have in the world on treatment, but if that individual comes back into the same environment that created him getting into drugs, his chances of going back are excellent," Mavromatis said.

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