PROGRAMS & PROJECTS.
The aim of WV DII is to reduce drug deaths in West Virginia through charitable, educational and service activities. Specifically, its mission is to reduce deaths in West Virginia from opioid and drug abuse by being (a) an independent advocate for life-enhancing drug policies and practices, (b) a hub for coordinating drug response activities, and (c) an educational center to address the prevalence of drug abuse and the stigma of drug addiction.
To fulfill its mission, WV DII is carrying out activities under five objectives – research, education, collaboration, advocacy, and prevention.
We use evidence-based practices to implement prevention programming and recovery initiatives. Our medication safety programs for students pre-K through 20 are rooted in Positive Youth Development theory. We consider both preventative and protective factors required of prevention programming when addressing issues of substance use disorder with youth. We also review nationwide, statewide, local, and rural best practices for recovery initiatives and partner with local and state organizations implement programs that connect persons with evidence-based pathways to recovery. Working with our partners—including the City of Charleston, First Choice Services and the Kanawha Valley Collective—we also evaluate the impact and efficacy of these programs.
We educate over 4,000 youth and 40,000 households each year about the importance of medication safety through our Don’t Keep Rx Around™ Medication Safety and Generation Rx Programs delivered in partnership with the University of Charleston and Murphy Media, Inc. These programs are interactive and school-based, but are also available to parents, foster parents, grandparents, and educators online. Our public service announcements are available to all primary and secondary schools, college campuses, and health facilities in West Virginia. Through our partnership with Murphy Media, Inc. our PSA for college students received one of West Virginia’s (only) two Gold Telly Awards in 2020.
We work closely with agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the greater Charleston area who are involved in drug abuse response and prevention. In addition to our partnerships with service providers and schools, we have forged a strong partnership with the City of Charleston. By working hand-in-hand with the Mayor’s Office of CARE (Coordinated Addiction Response Initiative), we are able to maximize the effectiveness of substance use intervention efforts, like the Quick Response Team (or QRT) throughout Charleston and the Kanawha Valley.
We support policy change related to reducing overdose deaths, increasing access to treatment and recovery, and adequately funding prevention programming. As members the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of American, the American Public Health Association, Great Rivers System of Addiction Care, and the West Virginia Rural Health Association, our staff work directly with legislators and policy makers to inform them of trends related to substance use disorder. Our staff also serve as board or committee members with the West Virginia Rural Health Association, Putnam County Wellness Coalition, Kanawha Communities that Care, ACEs Coalition of West Virginia, and the Regional Family Resource Network.
We support and implement partnerships and programs designed to prevent overdose-related deaths and increase assess to prevention programming and treatment services. We are members of the state-wide planning team for West Virginia first Prevention Strategic Plan organized by the WV Department of Health and Human Resources. Through a partnership with the WV Department of Corrections and the University of Charleston, we assist with education and support for long-acting reversible birth control for female inmates as a way to curb rates of neo-natal abstinence syndrome due to maternal drug use. In addition, we work directly with the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy to increase access and distribution of Naloxone throughout the State.