National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

Help. Hope. Support.

Donate Today

Find Out How You Can Help

West Virginia 2020-2022 Substance Use Response Plan

Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment – 2020

Substance use disorders, including tobacco use, are catastrophic not only to those who suffer from them, but to the very fabric of our entire society. Substance use disorders have had a significant and costly impact on the health, well-being, and economy of West Virginia. They are linked not only to overdose deaths, but to increased crime rates, child abuse and neglect, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, infectious and chronic diseases, and accidental injuries. The substance use epidemic in West Virginia has negatively affected individuals and families, presented new challenges to health care and behavioral health systems, and significantly impacted the economic vitality of the state. Common misunderstandings and beliefs around the disease of addiction, leading to discrimination against those who wrestle with it, have significantly added to the magnitude of the problem and its economic impact. Existing challenges keep people from seeking care, delay entry into treatment and recovery, and create unnecessary barriers to regaining stability in life (i.e., securing stable jobs, housing, etc.). Due to the complex and far-reaching consequences of this epidemic, it is not only necessary, but vital, to update the State’s Response Plan (Plan) using a multi-sector, collaborative approach with subject matter experts from across the state. The Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment is charged to lead the statewide effort to combat substance use disorders across the spectrum from prevention efforts to supporting long term recovery. Such work includes establishing strategic direction across sectors through a state-level plan. The following elements outline the Plan established by the Council. The West Virginia 2020-2022 Substance Use Response Plan will: • Promote strategies to implement evidence-based prevention methods in schools and local communities • Strive for West Virginians to have prompt access to treatment and support options that suit individuals’ needs • Support housing, transportation, employment and other supports for those in recovery • Connect the justice-involved population with substance use disorder services and help promote positive behaviors, facilitate community reentry, and reduce recidivism • Promote, measure, and track prevention, treatment, and recovery outcomes • Provide public education that is based on the best available evidence of what is most effective in addressing stigma • Monitor ongoing initiatives to confirm Plan goals are achieved This document describes the current substance use environment in West Virginia, highlights the significant scope of existing activities and initiatives already underway, and presents a strategic framework, including the goals, strategies, and key performance indicators for each section of the framework that will avoid duplication of effort and address the current gaps and needs over the next three years. The Plan framework represents a coordinated and integrated approach that encompasses prevention; community engagement and supports; integrated health systems; treatment, recovery and research; court systems and justice-involved populations; law enforcement; and public education. As the Plan is implemented, true success will require integrated efforts at every jurisdictional level and across sectors. It will not be achieved by any one agency, entity, or jurisdiction alone. As such, the Council offers the Plan as a common framework to other sectors and organizations engaged in addressing West Virginia’s substance use epidemic. The use of a common framework will enhance the likelihood of aligning efforts, leveraging one another’s work, minimizing gaps, and communicating collective progress. Addressing this epidemic in West Virginia clearly requires a “whole of community” effort. As next steps 5 will include a more detailed implementation plan and specific tactics to achieve each of the goals in this Plan, the Council invites other jurisdictions and entities to use this framework to develop processes to do the same.