As President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a national emergency, addiction prevention and treatment facilities across Ohio County say this could not come at a better time.
With about two months left in 2017, Ohio County has seen nine opioid overdose deaths this year. That matches the 2016 total of nine and is lower than the 2015 total of 12.
Those numbers are actually low compared to other counties in the Mountain State.
“Ohio County is actually less than 1% of the total overdoses in the state. Though there is a problem here because we are the top state still of the overdose death rate, our county is not one of the higher counties,” said Martha Polinsky, Project Coordinator with the Community Impact Coalition.
In comparison, the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services reports that 50% of overdose deaths in West Virginia come from three counties: Cabel, Kanawha, and Berkeley.
Statistics also suggest that overdose deaths may decrease with more frequent use of Narcan, the overdose reversal medication.
At The Unity Center, they say NA is one of their most successful treatment programs and that treatment is where attention and focus are needed.
“If people have made the decision that they want to come and get help, if they can’t get into a treatment facility when they make that decision, that’s a big thing. I mean there’s a lot of the treatment facilities that have a six month waiting period, and in that time it’s hard for one that is in the depths of an addiction problem to actually stay on the path,” said Mary Hess, Executive Director at The Unity Center.
Both the Community Impact Coalition and The Unity Center are hoping that with the President’s declaration, more treatment facilities will open across West Virginia and the United States.
If you are battling addiction in West Virginia and are looking for help, you can call 1-844-HELP-4-WV or call The Unity Center at 304-232-3888.