West Virginia boasts a wide range of attractions, including but not limited to its natural splendor marked by the expansive Shenandoah River and the majestic Appalachian Mountains. However, it also struggles with some of the highest rates of substance abuse, addiction, tolerance, dependence, and overdose deaths.
According to the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - about 10 percent of the population of this state has also been diagnosed with a substance use disorder. This goes to show that there is a deep need for addiction treatment and rehabilitation services.
Heroin is one of the most common substances of abuse in the state of West Virginia. In 2014, for instance, the state reported the highest rates of overdose deaths across the United States. Opioid prescription pain relief medications and heroin are among the drugs that have been causing a rise in these numbers.
The state recently tightened its laws on prescriptions for medications that cause addiction. These laws pushed many of the people who were addicted to these drugs to turn to heroin. This is due to the fact that heroin is often more widely available across the state - and at affordable process.
Drug trafficking organizations have been feeding into this problem by transporting and trafficking heroin into the state. They mostly focus on the rural regions of the state, and they use boats, passenger trains, and commercial and private vehicles to get the drug to their clients.
The state has also witnessed a decline of its mining industry - which is now thought of as having contributed to the rising rates of heroin abuse and addiction. Many of the people who were working in this industry suffered injuries that required the use of prescription opioid medications to manage the associated pain.
Among these patients, many eventually found that they were addicted to their medications. When they reached a stage where it was getting harder to access and acquire opioids, many of them turned to heroin. This is due to the fact that heroin is affordable and more widely available across the state.
But heroin and prescription opioids are not the only substances of abuse being taken in West Virginia. Admissions into its addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities also cite other drugs like marijuana, cocaine, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants like methamphetamine.
These substances were associated with more than 52 fatalities among every segment of 100,000 people in the state. This number was close to 163 percent higher than the 19.8 fatalities reported for the same segment of people in the United States.
West Virginia is considered to be ground zero for the opioid crisis sweeping across the rest of the Nation. In 2016, it suffered the highest rates of deaths from an overdose involving this class of drugs. The same year, more than 733 people lost their lives to an overdose associated with opioids.
Whether you are addicted to alcohol and cocaine or struggling with an opioid use disorder in West Virginia, you need to consider enrolling in a licensed and accredited addiction treatment center so that you can get the help you need to get started on the road to long term recovery.