© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture
Peabody Award-winner Trey Kay brings us stories exploring all sides of the cultural issues that too often divide us.

Fatal Overdoses: Pandemic Is Especially Deadly For West Virginians Battling Addictions

Deadly Overdoses - Image
Lalena Price
/
Fatal Overdoses: Pandemic is Especially Deadly for West Virginians Battling Addictions

The COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out but there’s no obvious fix for other long term medical consequences of the pandemic.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the deadliest year ever for overdose deaths in the twelve months between June 2019 and June 2020. Lethal overdoses were up by 20%. Isolation, anxiety and boredom, three triggers for drug abuse, have created the so-called mental health ‘shadow pandemic.’

And for West Virginia, an existing shortage of healthcare professionals means there are not enough workers for hospitals, clinics and treatment centers that are seeing more patients in distress.

In this episode, Us & Them host Trey Kay visits a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program at Cabin Creek Health Systems in Charleston, WV to speak with doctors, nurses and patients about what it takes to stay drug free in the Age of COVID-19. He also speaks with Christina Mullins, Commissioner of the Bureau for Behavioral Health in West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Subscribe to Us & Them on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher and beyond. You also can listen to Us & Them on WVPB Radio — tune in on the fourth Thursday of every month at 8 p.m., with an encore presentation on the following Saturday at 3 p.m.


WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.