Opioid Addiction

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore the black market -- not of opioids, but of medication to treat opioid addiction. We also bring you an update on Hurricane Florence’s potential impact here in the Mountain State, and we learn the latest on a CSX train derailment in Fayette County.

West Virginia University

Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016, four were in Appalachia. 

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear a special report from The Uncertain Hour, a podcast from American Public Media's Marketplace. Their investigation, which first aired in December, centered on a lesser-known but significant aspect of the opioid crisis: how Purdue Pharma marketed OxyContin, its highly addictive pain medication.

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Health officials in the Ohio Valley are investigating outbreaks of disease associated with needle drug use in what is emerging as a new public health threat from the region’s profound opioid addiction crisis. 


DOJ to Support Lawsuits Against Companies Selling Opioids

Feb 27, 2018
Susan Walsh / AP Photo

The Justice Department said Tuesday it will support local officials in hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that are fueling the nation's drug abuse crisis.

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What works in recovery from opioid addiction, and how can we educate West Virginians about it?

That's what we learn this week from Dr. Michael Brumage, new director of the Office of Drug Control Policy in West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, The Legislature Today Executive Producer Suzanne Higgins speaks with the director of the Oscar-nominated film Heroin(e) and two women featured in it. We bring you an excerpt with one of those women: Patricia Keller, family court and former longtime drug court judge, who discusses the work she’s doing in Huntington to fight the opioid epidemic.

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$8.8 billion. That's what a new study estimates the opioid epidemic is costing the West Virginia economy every year.

That's 12 percent of the state's GDP, and more than any other state.

On this week's Front Porch podcast, we debate the opportunity cost of opioid addiction for our economy - and how we can get out of this mess.

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Gov. Justice’s second State of the State made full use of several props, two whiteboards and his entire girls’ basketball team.

Justice also laid out what he thought was really important in his speech. Here are two themes I heard: finally turning the corner on the opioid epidemic, and helping young people find technical and vocational careers.

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U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins says West Virginia has received a $1.4 million federal grant to support the state's drug courts.

The Justice Department funding supports existing courts that focus on drug cases and helps expand them to counties that don't have them.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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Attorneys general from 35 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are urging health insurers to review their policies for pain management treatment to spark higher use of alternatives to opioid prescriptions.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Monday announced the bipartisan coalition's efforts in the ongoing fight to end opioid addiction.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the heroin and opioid crisis has reached stunning and heartbreaking heights across the nation...and Huntington, West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate sits at ten times the national average. A new film is out today that documents the severity of the problem – but also shines a light on the tireless work of three women trying to fight against a wave of desperation in their hometown. Produced in part by the Center for Investigative Reporting, Heroin(e) premieres today on Netflix. Dave Mistich spoke with film maker Elaine McMillion Sheldon about her film and what it’s like to document something that has affected so many of us in one way or another.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, U.S. Health and Human Resources Secretary Tom Price talks with West Virginia officials about the state's opioid addiction crisis during a stop on a Trump Administration listening tour.

We also hear from two West Virginia University addiction specialists about the language of addiction and how it affects treatment outcomes.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


West Virginia’s opioid overdose death rate is two and a half times the national average, the highest in the country. Last year, 864 West Virginians died from an overdose, up by more than 17 percent from the year prior.

 

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Sec. Bill Crouch shared those statistics at a press conference Tuesday. Crouch hosted U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price for a closed-door meeting about the state’s struggle with substance abuse and what the federal government can do to help.

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Two top officials in the Trump administration have announced stops in West Virginia this week.

Pres. Donald Trump's Health and Human Resources Sec. Tom Price and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in Charleston. Both stops focus on the nation's opioid epidemic.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Wheeling Middle School students who worked with Northern Panhandle Bureau Chief Glynis Board to record stories and commentaries about standardized testing and the arts.

We'll also hear more from Inside Appalachia's recent episode about opioid addiction and the Veterans Administration.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, over the weekend, Pres. Donald Trump will reach his 100 day mark in office. 

As a part of our series "100 Days in Appalachia," Beth Vorhees checks in with Dave Mistich, the managing editor of the project, about the stories they've shared in the first 100 days and what to expect in the future.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers have voted to increase beds available at state-supported drug treatment facilities in response to the state's opioid addiction epidemic.

The Senate's unanimous vote Friday follows an earlier House vote to add beds and establish an addiction prevention and recovery fund.

Six W.Va. Stories to Watch in 2017

Dec 30, 2016
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Front Porch hosts Scott Finn, Laurie Lin, and Rick Wilson tell us which stories they'll be following in 2017:

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Shepherd University is partnering with Berkeley County Schools and the Martinsburg Police Department to help combat opioid addiction. A new initiative hopes to identify basic causes of drug abuse in at-risk families.

Drug Addiction in Politics
Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

The opioid epidemic is on the agenda for political campaigns from the presidential race down to the local level in the Ohio Valley region. Election Day could shape the response to the crisis in states with some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdoses.

Pat Fogarty, Director of Business Development and Mission Advancement at The Healing Place treatment center in Louisville said he’s seen the political discussion about addiction change for the better.

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For a generation of Appalachians, growing up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs is a way of life. Kristina Weaver, or Breezie, grew up in southern West Virginia with a loving family and father who struggled with addiction. Her father, David Siers, died in June of 2015 of a heroin overdose.


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Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday that starting in January, doctors who prescribe pain pills will be required to follow federal prescribing guidelines. 

The move was made in an attempt to lower state overuse and abuse rates. According to Rahul Gupta, the West Virginia state health officer and the commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health, West Virginia has the highest rate of prescription opioids per capita in the nation. 

Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

It’s not just about notebooks and pencil boxes anymore: the opioid epidemic means back-to-school supplies now include things like emergency overdose treatments and drug prevention plans.

Transportation is a Big Factor in Food Insecurity

Sep 1, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we conclude our series about food insecurity with a report from McDowell County where farmers are trying to sell their local produce but meet with certain challenges and in Wayne County pop up farmers markets are bringing fresh food where it’s needed. 

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

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The Obama administration says it will distribute $53 million to 44 states in an effort to curb opioid abuse.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says the funding will focus on reducing over-prescribing of pain killers, increasing access to treatment and making sure the antidote naloxone is widely available.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

  The leader of the federal Food and Drug Administration is headed to Charleston for a round-table discussion with top West Virginia officials about the state's opioid epidemic.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Monday that FDA Commissioner Robert Califf will attend the Tuesday event at the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Oxycodone
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West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, host Beth Vorhees talks live to Conrad Lucas, the chair of the state Republican Party who is in Cleveland for the party’s convention this week and Clark Davis reports from Huntington where addiction treatment specialists are looking to nature assisted therapy. 

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

Pill Mills Fueled W. Va. Drug Epidemic

May 31, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning Charleston Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre talks with Appalachia Health News reporter Kara Lofton about the lawsuits the state has brought against drug manufacturers who shipped extraordinary amounts of painkillers to small pharmacies in Southern West Virginia.

That's on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting - telling West Virginia's story.

Something has shifted in the way our society thinks about heroin addicts these days. Could it be that smack users are seeming more like “us” and less like “them?”

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting and PRX, this is "Us & Them," the podcast where we tell the stories about America's cultural divides.

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