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WVDII Receives $478,000 Grant from Appalachian Regional Commission’s INSPIRE Initiative

September 11, 2023 (CHARLESTON, WV) — The West Virginia

Drug Intervention Institute (WV DII) has been awarded $478,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to create employment opportunities for persons in recovery and expand access to the life-saving overdose reversal drug, naloxone. In partnership with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI), and HarborPath, the funding will assist the Institute in establishing a new community outreach and employment program to combat the economic effects of SUD and build a stronger recovery ecosystem across 15 high-risk counties in West Virginia and Kentucky.

The program will provide employment opportunities for up to 10 individuals in recovery and/or the justice system; working with local police departments and the PAARI Recovery Corps to educate community members about the use of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, overdose prevention, and SUD treatment and recovery resources. The project will also include the distribution of the ONEbox™, an emergency opioid response kit designed to provide on-demand training for response to overdose within these communities.

The award is part of a recently announced nearly $14 million package through ARC’s Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative, which addresses the region’s substance use disorder crisis with investments that strengthen services in the recovery ecosystem and helps facilitate workforce entry and re-entry.

“I commend the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute for their work supporting the recovery ecosystem in our region. They are integral to bringing our INSPIRE projects to life,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “WV DII is a great asset in our efforts to address the region’s substance use disorder crisis, and I look forward to seeing how they will help build a strong recovery ecosystem and a stronger workforce for the opportunities of tomorrow.”

“We are honored to receive this funding from the ARC to continue and expand the work of our mission of reducing overdose deaths throughout West Virginia and Appalachia,” said Institute President Dr. Susan Bissett. “In addition, this project will provide employment opportunities for persons in recovery to assist in educating communities about overdose prevention and reversal in 15 West Virginia and Kentucky counties significantly and adversely impacted by the opioid epidemic.”

Since INSPIRE was established in April 2021, ARC has invested nearly $42 million in 126 projects across 349 Appalachian counties. The nearly $14 million package for Fiscal Year 2023 is projected to improve 2,178 businesses and prepare 9,772 individuals for new opportunities in the workforce.

ARC is expecting to issue a request for proposals for the next round of INSPIRE grant opportunities in early 2024. Additional information and resources are available at

About the WV Drug Intervention Institute

Located in Charleston, WV, the mission of the WV Drug Intervention Institute is to reduce opioid and drug-related deaths in Appalachia and the nation by (a) preventing substance use through education (b) reducing overdose through training and distribution related to naloxone and other opioid reversal agents, and (c) supporting harm reduction and other drug-response efforts. The Institute is also the exclusive distributor of the ONEbox™, an opioid overdose reversal kit.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

Contact: Dr. Susan Bissett





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