With the COVID-19 pandemic dominating the news, it’s easy for other public health issues to drop out of sight. Shepherdstown-based Community Education Group (CEG) is pointedly focused on West Virginia’s ongoing substance-use disorder epidemic.
A new $500,000 grant will support CEG’s efforts to improve HIV prevention, testing, screening, and treatment in the state.
Fentanyl, Inc. opens with the story of eighteen-year-olds Bailey Henke and Kain Schwandt as they go on a road trip across the snowed plains of North Dakota. Henke and Schwain plan on visiting family, but they have an ulterior motive: they hope their time on the road will help them kick their addiction to fentanyl, a drug they once discovered by buying medical patches on the black market.
If you or someone you love has lost someone to the opioid crisis, then it’s worth your while to check out “All Our Hearts”—an online memorial project developed in part by Observer contributor and Jefferson County native Lena Camilletti.
How we perceive and treat people with substance-use disorder has a direct impact on access to treatment and long-term recovery for this community. The language we use to identify this disease is crucial in addressing solutions for people experiencing it.
As I read Timothy J. Hillegonds’ harrowing memoir of addiction and youthful rage, The Distance Between (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), I was reminded of a sentence written by one of my favorite fiction authors, Richard Lange: “We can only, all of us, run so far before what we really are and what is meant to be catch up to us.”
A Chicago native, author Timothy J. Hillegonds stepped foot in Shepherdstown for the first time in 2012, and found himself smitten from the start. Seven years later, he readily calls Shepherdstown his second home, and by getting to know West Virginia’s oldest town as intimately as he has, he’s also become familiar with the Mountain State’s unfortunate connection to the nationwide opioid epidemic.
The opioid epidemic has been described as “one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine.” But calling it a mistake is a generous rewriting of the history of greed, corruption, and indifference that pushed the U.S. into consuming more than 80 percent of the world’s opioid painkillers.
Mountaineer Recovery Center, targeted to open in September 2019, will be the first in the state of West Virginia to provide this level of treatment, according to someone’s needs all in one place.
Students in the Eastern Panhandle have recently gained exposure to uniformed soldiers in the hallways of their schools. The men and women of the West Virginia Air National Guard (WVANG) 167th Airlift Wing, the 130th Airlift Wing, and the Army National Guard have been diligently working to help combat the state’s opioid addiction crisis by offering various mentoring opportunities to elementary and middle school students.
Hundreds of voluntary recovery coaches throughout the state of West Virginia are helping those in need of services that are often nonexistent or hard to access. Greater Recovery and Community Empowerment (GRaCE), founded by president Rev. John Unger, taps into the “foundational aspect of instilling hope.”
Award-winning journalist Beth Macy’s Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America comes as a timely, in-depth look at America’s opioid crisis that tells the stories of its victims and traces the social and economic roots of the epidemic.
Addiction does not discriminate. Bridging the divides in our polarized country is an essential way for people to work together to fight the opioid epidemic, which is what One America West Virginia is trying to do.
The Martinsburg Initiative (TMI) is an innovative, multi-dimensional partnership that has developed a model solution to the crisis of Opioid Use Disorder and the general problems of other substance use, misuse, and substance use disorders.
Established after the 2016 presidential election, The One America Movement’s (One America) mission is to build bridges and solve problems by bringing Americans together across racial, religious, political, and geographic divides in order to address pressing social problems like poverty, opioids, racial tension, and more.