Substance abuse in West Virginia is a growing problem. The state has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation, says the Drug Enforcement Administration, or the DEA. When you have concerns about your use of a substance or a loved one’s abuse of drugs or alcohol, you want to understand the potential risks of their actions.

West Virginia Drug And Alcohol Treatment Centers 

Treating substance abuse starts with finding the right treatment program. In West Virginia, you have different options to start working on recovering from drugs or alcohol.

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is a holistic treatment program designed for men. As a gender-specific program that focuses on men, it focuses on the specific factors that contribute to a man’s substance abuse. It also uses a holistic strategy with adventure therapy, spending time on a farm and engaging in outdoor activities as part of the treatment process.

The Lifehouse

The Lifehouse is a treatment and sober-living program that helps with different stages of recovery. The program allows individuals to work through their substance abuse and transition smoothly into a healthier lifestyle by moving into different sober living facilities as they start working on their goals. It does use counseling, 12-step programs, and cognitive therapy as part of the treatment process.

Recovery Point in West Virginia

Recovery Point in West Virginia is a program designed for long-term goals. The inpatient program uses an intensive treatment strategy for 6 to 12 months. As an inpatient program, it removes individuals from their normal environment and allows them to focus on their recovery goals. The program uses counseling and group therapy as part of the treatment process.

West Virginia Drug Rehab Programs

Seeking a West Virginia inpatient drug rehab to treat substance abuse starts with identifying the right type of program. An inpatient program is a type of treatment plan that removes you or a loved one from your home. You stay in the facility for the duration of your treatment. It may range from a short-term program of 30 days to a long-term program that lasts for 2 to 6 months.

You can also consider outpatient treatment programs. An outpatient program lets you stay at home and continue your normal activities. You are not required to avoid your personal obligations or your work. The downside is that you will stay in your normal environment and do not have the same one-on-one care.

Most West Virginia drug rehab programs will offer counseling and group therapy. You may also have options for family therapy to help with challenges in your personal relationships.

Inpatient programs may offer additional treatments. A holistic program strives to provide a well-rounded treatment plan. It will usually offer alternative therapies like music therapy and art therapy. It also provides evidence-based treatments like cognitive therapy. You may also learn life skills during a rehab program to help you keep up with your goals after you complete the program. Adventure therapy programs use camping, hiking, and similar excursions to help you learn to focus on important tasks.

You want to carefully evaluate your treatment options before you choose a program. Ideally, you want a program that develops a custom plan to help you recover from substance abuse.

West Virginia Alcohol Abuse

Opioid drug abuse is not the only concern within West Virginia. SAMHSA reports that 35 percent of the state’s population drink alcohol and nearly 353,000, or 19.6 percent, of the state’s residents, admit to binge drinking. Alcohol abuse increases the risk of an addiction to the substance.

The high rate of binge drinking means the residents of the state have a higher risk of addiction. Alcohol abuse is a concern due to the high unemployment rate and the potential to use the alcohol to self-medicate.

Health Risks Associated with Drug Abuse in West Virginia

The health risks associated with drug or alcohol abuse in West Virginia differ based on the substance and duration of substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse has short and long-term consequences.

The short-term consequences impact immediate health and physical well-being. Depending on the drug, it may cause the heart rate to increase or it may change your blood pressure. It also increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some substances may cause psychosis or trigger a mental health condition that leads to psychosis. In the worst case situation, you or a loved one may overdose on a drug or die due to the changes in your body.

Long-term consequences of drug or alcohol misuse and abuse differ for each substance. A common risk factor is a higher rate of cancer and organ damage. Long-term abuse of a substance also increases the risk of certain ailments. For example, injecting a drug with a needle increases the risk of hepatitis and HIV. Alcohol abuse may cause cirrhosis of the liver or other organ damage. The exact impact on your health or the health of a loved one in West Virginia depends on the substance.

West Virginia Drug Abuse By Numbers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also known as SAMHSA, states that roughly 130,000 residents of the state use illicit drugs in a one month period. Since the population of the state is around 1.8 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 7 percent of the population use illicit substances.

SAMHSA estimates that around 67,000 residents of the state abuse prescription pain relievers and nearly 106,000 residents abuse marijuana. That means roughly 3.7 percent of the state abuse prescription medications and 5.9 percent of the state’s population use marijuana. In West Virginia, marijuana is only legal with a valid prescription. It is not legal to possess or use the drug for recreational purposes within the state.

While the primary drug abused in the state is marijuana, the major concern is the abuse of prescription medications. The state has a high rate of overdose deaths due to the use of prescription drugs. That raises concerns for individuals who may take the medications for legitimate reasons.

West Virginia Drug Overdose Rates

West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports that there were 722 deaths from drug overdose in 2015. In 2014, the state had 627 deaths from drug overdose. The rate increased significantly in a one year period by 86.8 percent.

The trend toward a higher rate of drug overdose deaths in the state has increased steadily from 2001, which raises concerns about the reasons for the high rate of overdoses in the state. According to Business Insider, a key part of the reason for the high rate of overdose deaths is the focus on manual labor throughout the state. A large percentage of the population faces injuries from working in coal mines or engaging in physically demanding jobs. The state also has a high unemployment rate, which contributes to the risk of substance abuse.

Although the rate of overdose deaths is high in the state, nearly twice the number of men die from an overdose when compared to women. Since men are more likely to work in a physically demanding job, they have a higher risk of being given an opiate medication for pain relief.


Recovering from drugs or alcohol starts with taking the first step. When you want to recover in West Virginia, you have options to help you with the initial care and assistance you may need.


Contact us to learn more about treatment programs and facilities in West Virginia.




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