Addiction

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Throughout the Ohio Valley and West Virginia, thousands of children are in foster care -- and the opioid epidemic is sending thousands more to join them. In fact, in just the past year, West Virginia's foster care system alone saw an increase of 1,000 children entering care.

In 2016, West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with the Holbens, a former-foster family in Kearneysville, Jefferson County, to shed light on the struggles the opioid epidemic brings on foster care. We now check back in with that family and explore what lies ahead in combating this crisis.

Be sure to tune in for more on this subject during our nightly television program, The Legislature Today beginning January 11, 2018.

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Brooke sits beside her mom on the couch at Rea of Hope’s New Life Apartments. Rea of Hope is an addiction and recovery center for women struggling with alcohol or drug abuse.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the science is clear -- addiction runs in families. It’s not just opioids, but alcohol and even tobacco use, too. Kara Lofton takes a look at multigenerational addiction in West Virginia and the challenges families face in breaking the cycle.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

 


The start of the 2018 state Legislative session is only one month away. Lawmakers in the Eastern Panhandle met in Martinsburg for a Legislative Outlook Breakfast hosted by the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce to discuss several issues they hope to tackle at the statehouse this year.

 

One focus is creating more ways to combat West Virginia’s opioid epidemic -- particularly how the crisis affects those in the state’s foster care system.

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A new study has found that people referred to treatment for opioid addiction are much less likely to get referred to medication assisted programs if they are coming from the criminal justice system.

The study authored by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that fewer than 5 percent of those referred for treatment from the criminal justice system were directed to medication-assisted treatment programs, compared to 40 percent of clients referred for treatment from other sources, such as health-care providers or employers.

Opioid Emergency: What the Ohio Valley Needs to Combat Crisis

Aug 21, 2017
Rebecca Kiger

The opioid crisis gripping the Ohio Valley is now, according to President Donald Trump, a national emergency. But more than a week after the president made that announcement, state and local health officials in the region told the Ohio Valley ReSource that they have little information about what that emergency declaration actually means, or what additional tools it might provide.

Perry Bennett West Virginia Legislative Photography

U.S. Congressman Evan Jenkins visited Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston today to hold a roundtable with local experts about how best to address addiction and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The roundtable was attended by about 20 health workers and community members, most of whom deal with addiction, including neonatal abstinence syndrome on an almost daily basis.

“The disease, yes disease of addiction is our most challenging public health and safety issue of our time,” Jenkins said during an opening statement.

Associated Press

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and fifteen other U.S. Senators sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency yesterday urging them to further lower the amount of opioids manufacturers are allowed to produce in 2018.

The letter calls specifically for reducing opioid quotas, which are the legal amount of opioids drug companies are allowed to manufacture in the U.S.

Rebecca Kiger

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with Marcus Murrow, a West Virginia native who’s telling the story of southern West Virginia, and the surprising way cultural divides are sometimes bridged in and around Appalachia. He's working on a film called Staring up from the Mine Shaft.

HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

Remarks by a top U.S. health official have reignited a quarrel in the world of addiction and recovery: Does treating opioid addiction with medication save lives? Or does it trade one addiction for another?

Health Secretary Tom Price's recent comments — one replying to a reporter's question, the other in a newspaper op-ed — waver between two strongly held views.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic started. Appalachia has been called ground zero for this crisis, and the Mountain State leads the country in drug overdose deaths. This episode of Inside Appalachia explores how the epidemic is affecting veterans, who are twice as likely to become addicted to opioids than the general, or civilian, population. 


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It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic first exploded across Appalachia, and now doctors are shifting away from prescribing opioids for long-term pain. 

But this shift away from pills has met resistance from some  doctors and patients.

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why addiction hit Appalachia so hard. We'll also find out what the medical community is doing to fight the pain pill epidemic.

A nursery where drug-affected babies are treated at Lily’s Place in Huntington, W.Va.
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

Marshall University is hoping to expand Huntington's services for babies born addicted to drugs by adding a comprehensive center that would follow babies to kindergarten.

The Herald Dispatch reports that creators of the plan met Monday with Rep. Evan Jenkins to discuss the program. Jenkins pledged his support during the meeting.

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Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released a report that analyzes the House of Representative's proposed replacement of the Affordable Care Act. The office projects that the new bill would leave 24 million people uninsured by 2026.

Such an increase could have big consequences for the more than 2 million people addicted to pain medication across the United States, including more than 200,000 in the Ohio Valley Region. 

While millions of addictive pain pills flooded West Virginia, a generation of Appalachians grew up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs. Hear some of their stories on this week's classic episode of Inside Appalachia.

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Gambling has many of the same symptoms as other addictions, including the urge to continue the behavior despite negative consequences, but it’s different in one key way.

 

 

“With problem gambling, sometimes people see the problem as the solution,” said Sheila Moran, director of marketing for the helpline 1-800-Gambler.

 

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For a generation of Appalachians, growing up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs is a way of life. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear from men and women who have experienced the effects of opioid addiction and of the innocence that this epidemic has claimed.

Manchin Joins WVU Roundtable on Opioid Abuse

Oct 24, 2016
Anne Li / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Audience members packed into an auditorium on West Virginia University's medical campus Monday to listen a roundtable on opioid abuse held by WVU and Senator Joe Manchin.

The roundtable, moderated by WVU School of Medicine executive dean Clay Marsh, featured WVU researchers and medical staff in addition to students. The panelists discussed treatment, prevention, research and stigma associated with opioid addiction. 

Addiction Stories Program
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

  People in addiction recovery came out Wednesday night in Huntington at Marshall University, to tell their story on how it’s affected their lives.

  Nick Pauken was part of the Marshall University program “Addiction in Appalachia: Our Stories”. In collaboration between the Marshall Student Health Education Program and the English Department, those in addiction recovery worked with English professors to write a monologue about their story. It was a chance for those in recovery, family members and significant others to tell how addiction impacted their lives.

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Wikimedia Commons

Health officials, law enforcement officers and other specialists will gather next week for a summit on addiction issues in West Virginia.

The event will take place Monday evening at the Dr. Lisa Curry Annex in Chesapeake.

Kanawha County state Delegate Chris Stansbury will host the summit.

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