substance abuse

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this episode of West Virginia Morning, we’ll learn how a theater company in Morgantown is looking to contribute to community conversations about substance abuse issues ravaging the region. 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced state funding is available for two substance abuse recovery programs.


Both the Collegiate Recovery (CRPs) and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs focus on helping adults who suffer from substance use disorders get their lives back on track.



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Nearly $21 million in state funding has been awarded to expand residential treatment services for substance abuse across West Virginia. The state Department of Health and Human Resources announced the funding Monday. Two of the programs are in Morgantown and two are in Parkersburg, with one apiece in Beckley, Culloden, Huntington, Martinsburg and Wheeling.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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Three substance use disorder programs in West Virginia are receiving $1.6 million in funding from the state.

The funding was announced by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.

Prison Bars
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West Virginia prison officials have tapped a career law enforcement officer to crack down on illegal drug smuggling.

Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy has named Jack Luikart as director of correctional substance abuse control.

Phil Isner
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill that will encourage the creation of substance abuse treatment facilities in the state.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The number of beds available at state-run substance abuse treatment facilities would increase in drug-ravaged West Virginia under a bill passed Wednesday by the House.

The bill passed on a 99-0 vote. It now moves to the state Senate.

Kelli Sobonya
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill increasing penalties for drug traffickers was largely the focus of the House floor session Friday. The bill is part of the House leadership’s plans to crack down on people selling drugs in West Virginia to curb the substance abuse epidemic.

House Bill 2648 would increase the penalties for trafficking or manufacturing a controlled substance while in the presence of a minor, making it a felony. The bill carries a penalty of a three year prison term without the ability to receive parole. 

Flood, Clendenin
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A National Weather Service meteorologist called it a "1-in-1,000-year" storm. By the time it was over, 23 West Virginians were dead.

Flooding that ravaged the state in late June was voted the No. 1 news story in 2016 in West Virginia by Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $200,000 to train more mental health providers and substance abuse counselors in West Virginia.

Nationally, more than $44.5 million worth of grants have been awarded through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program.  West Virginia will receive $211,000 of that to train behavioral and mental health professionals.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The state with one of the highest overdose death rates in recent years welcomed Dr. Robert Califf Tuesday for a roundtable discussion focused on opioid abuse. 

Califf is the new head of the Federal Drug Administration- the federal agency that oversees medications for both people and animals and monitors the nation's food supply, among other things. 

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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Health officials, law enforcement officers and other specialists are gathering for a summit on addiction issues in West Virginia.

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

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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.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made her second West Virginia stop Tuesday morning on the campus of the University of Charleston. Clinton hosted a roundtable discussion focused on the state’s substance abuse epidemic. But she said it’s not just West Virginia that’s suffering.

“We have to treat this as an epidemic,” Clinton said. “This is a public health challenge.”

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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A substance abuse and mental health call line established in September has taken more than 1,000 calls.

The first statewide 24-hour helpline launched in September as a way to connect West Virginia residents with recovery services. It is a collaborative initiative between First Choice Health Systems and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has approved two bills that address West Virginia's substance abuse problem.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the Democrat signed bills Tuesday dealing with regulation of opioid treatment clinics and availability of life-saving opioid overdose medication.

One measure will regulate Suboxone and methadone clinics, which use medication-based treatment for opioids. It will require clinics to be licensed and to offer counseling.

On this West Virginia Morning, new efforts from the federal government are aiming to greatly reduce the prescription opioid and heroin overdose rate in places like West Virginia. We also hear from Frank X. Walker, keynote speaker at the 2016 Appalachia Studies Association conference.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says new substance abuse treatment services will be offered in 12 counties, while services in eight others are being expanded.

Tomblin this week announced more than $1.5 million in funding for such services.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Fiscal issues top the concerns of members of the minority party leading up to the end of this legislative session. 

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler and House Minority Leader Tim Miley discuss the most pressing issues facing lawmakers with just 11 days left to consider legislation.

call center, Help 4 WV
Kara Lofton / WVPB

Six months ago, First Choice Services, with funding from the Department of Health and Human Resources, launched Help 4 WV, a text, chat and call line. Although the program is new, early data shows it’s doing what it’s supposed to – connecting those in need with preexisting services.

“I smoked weed for the first time when I was 8 years old, which kind of progressed,” says Jaimee Moffitt, a phone operator at the Help 4 WV call center and a former addict. 

Del. Don Perdue, Delegate Don Perdue
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Seven bills were up for passage in the House Wednesday, including one that would give pregnant women in the state priority for substance abuse treatment.

We all know West Virginia has a huge substance abuse problem; one of the worst in the nation. So lawmakers are considering measures to address it.

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  West Virginia University office of wellness and health promotion has launched a Collegiate Recovery Program to offer addiction and recovery support to students.

The goal of the program is to connect college students who are seeking recovery from substance abuse and addictive behaviors to peer-support and services.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia families have been struggling with issues like substance abuse and poverty for decades.

This year, lawmakers are taking a hard look at ways they can combat these issues, and members of the House of Delegates are wasting no time at all.

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The West Virginia House of Delegates approved a resolution Wednesday setting up a committee to tackle substance abuse issues in the state.

On the first day of the 2016 session, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed House Resolution 3, creating the Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse.

President Barack Obama
AP Photo/Steve Helber

A West Virginia woman whose son is fighting a drug abuse problem will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address.

Officials say fewer West Virginia coal miners failed drug tests last year.

Eugene White, director of the West Virginia Mine Safety Office, tells the Times West Virginian that around 290 miners failed drug tests in 2015. That's down from 310 workers in 2013 and 314 workers in 2014.

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A federal grand jury has indicted a Beckley pain clinic doctor whose office was raided by authorities earlier this month.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says Dr. Jose J. Gordinho faces 21 counts related to illegal distribution of controlled substances.

Teams Assess How to Combat Racism in W. Va.

Nov 5, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, a report from Martinsburg where Governor Tomblin held a summit about substance abuse.  And from Wheeling, Glynis Board reports on an organization that is working to help women achieve economic self-sufficiency. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two weeks after President Obama’s visit to West Virginia, aimed at putting the spotlight on substance abuse issues across the country, the state’s leaders are still talking about ways to combat the issue.

At a forum in Martinsburg, Governor Tomblin met with those struggling with the disease and others trying to provide assistance in the Eastern Panhandle.

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Governor Earl Tomblin will hold a summit in Martinsburg Wednesday to address the state's ongoing efforts to combat substance abuse. Tomblin will be joined by medical professionals, education leaders, law enforcement officials, and individuals directly affected by substance abuse as they discuss reforms and new programs to help those struggling with addiction.