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GameChanger Schools — The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Case Study

December 15, 2022

Prior to and throughout the pandemic, substance use and addiction have continued to escalate. Nowhere has this public health crisis been more concentrated than in the state of West Virginia. With the highest rates of overdose and drug-related harm, the state is uniquely positioned with the responsibility to act towards harm reduction. One important step taken was to initiate a new program targeting the next generation to prevent substance abuse before it occurs. Known as GameChanger, the initiative was founded by executive director Joe Boczek, a West Virginia community leader and business consultant. It is powered by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Prevention Solutions division and designed to prevent alcohol, opioid, and other drug use and addiction before it starts.

Listen to Kim Albers and Jennifer Duncan-Sanfords from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation discuss their organization’s success in West Virginia as a continuation of their student peer leadership program. Which uses research to help children make healthy choices about alcohol, opioids, and all other drugs. As a youth-led prevention, positive development and community enhancement initiative, GameChanger is designed to educate, support and empower young West Virginians to live healthy, drug-free lifestyles while preparing to be leaders of tomorrow.

Executive attendees of this session will learn about:

  • Building school environments that prevent student opioid and drug use before it starts
  • Funding the program through sponsorships and co-opting fundraising efforts to ensure program fidelity
  • Monitoring and evaluating data to further refine program offerings


December 15
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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