Ashton Marra Published

Survey: Top Health Priority in Kanawha County is Drug Abuse


A national organization was on the campus of West Virginia State University Wednesday to release results from a survey conducted in Kanawha County. The survey asked respondents to rank the top health priorities for the area and, for those who attended the event, the results weren’t all that surprising.

CAPE, or the Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation, released the survey results to a group of some 30 or so individuals who have a connection to the behavioral health field, whether through their work with the state Department of Health and Human Resources, Highland Hospital, or other community organizations.

Earlier this year, CAPE chose ten communities to survey, asking area professionals and politicians to pick out their top health priorities. From there, the organization will help the ten communities work toward addressing those problems.

One hundred and twenty surveys were sent to health service, social service, community organization members and government officials in Kanawha County and 55 people completed it.

The results show of the 22 health conditions CAPE identified, respondents ranked illegal drug use their number one concern. Drug use was followed by non-medical prescription drug use then alcohol abuse.

After their discussion, groups were asked to come up with action plans for how to address the list of health priorities. CAPE plans to hold a second meeting of the group to continue working on those action plans and get more stakeholders involved.