PIEDMONT - Randy Crane, president of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, was the guest speaker at the Wednesday evening meeting of the Piedmont City Council.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
PIEDMONT - Randy Crane, president of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, was the guest speaker at the Wednesday evening meeting of the Piedmont City Council.
He offered information dealing with the illegal drug problem across the county, saysing, “It affects the whole region.”
Crane asked the council members, “What can we do?” and because of the drug problem, “We are losing a whole generation.”
He gave facts about the opioid epidemic when he said that across the United States in 2017, more opioid-related deaths occurred than the number of deaths of American soldiers during the entire Vietnam War, calling it “heart breaking.”
Crane recalled a town meeting held in late 2018 at Keyser High School dealing with opioid addiction, and one of the three speakers was Dr. Alfgeir Kristjansson,of the WVU School of Public Health.
Crane said that during the town meeting, Kristjansson gave information of a case study of young teens in Iceland, where 55 percent of the 13-year-old students self-reported consuming alcohol and being drunk, and the doctor believes this is the first step to opioid use.
Crane said that the study also revealed the teens suffered from peer pressure, along with having no adults being involved with them to plan and undertake activities.
“We want to try an approach here in Mineral County,” he said, and the planning may take a time to organize.
Crane said that a full-time organizer will be hired to plan activities for the young people in the county, plus offering transportation to attend the various future youth events held throughout the area.
He said that volunteers will be needed to assist with the activities, and, “We will screen them.”
“We would love to have support from every community,” Crane said, and with the planned activities, “We could give the kids a good time, with adult supervision.”
He said that he wanted Piedmont Council members to know “what is coming down the pike, and we need lots of help.”