Initiative Aims to End Addiction Stigma while Providing Resources

Mar 5, 2018

Several West Virginia health organizations, including West Virginia Prevention First and the state's Department of Health and Human Resources have joined together to launch the Health & Hope WV Initiative. Prevention First is a conglomeration of organizations that collect and disseminate information and facilitate communication, according to a press release.

Organizers say they hope the new site and media content will both serve as a comprehensive resource and help combat some of the stigma addiction still faces.

“One of the things we know in our state is that access to affordable health care carries a very large stigma with it, said  Elizabeth Shahaan – one of the representatives from the six regions of the Prevention First Network. "And when it carries that it prevents people from accessing the care they desperately need.”

At a Monday media event in Charleston, other representatives shared about their work and hope for the project.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.