West Virginia

West Virginia Drug Addiction and Treatment Information

West Virginia was formed at the beginning of the Civil War when fifty anti-slavery counties broke away from Virginia because they did not agree with seceding from the Union. The landowners in these counties had few to no slaves, so the area became the only state to form by breaking away from a Confederate one. Even though the state broke away to become part of the Union, West Virginia is today considered to be part of the South. 

Coal mining has historically provided a large portion of the state’s jobs and income, but the current largest private employer is the Wal-Mart Corporation. Due to the low wages offered by Wal-Mart, this underscores the economic difficulties that many residents face. Almost one in ten residents of the state are unemployed, and this level of poverty can lead to heightened levels of drug use.

Here are several other facts about the state of drug addiction and drug rehab in West Virginia.

Information on Drug Use in West Virginia 

West Virginia has one of the most severe drug abuse issues in the state. The following information points to what is causing major issues in West Virginia:

  • West Virginia is one of the top ten states for past-month illegal prescription drug abuse in people aged 12 or older.
  • 8.4 percent of West Virginia residents admit to using illegal drugs in the past month, which is slightly lower than the 8.82 percent average of Americans that use drugs.
  • The number of West Virginia residents that die as a direct result of their drug use is just slightly higher than the national average. In West Virginia, 12.9 out of every 100,000 people die as a direct result of using drugs, whereas the national average is 12.8 people per 100,000.
  • West Virginia also has the two counties with the highest numbers of drug-caused deaths in the entire country. Wyoming County has 58.7 deaths per 100,000 people, and McDowell County has 45.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

West Virginia Drugs of Abuse

West Virginia drug use rates in certain counties may be some of the highest in the nation, but the overall rates are caused by the following individual drug use trends.

  • Heroin and meth both have very low rates of drug abuse and drug treatment admissions in West Virginia. They are responsible for about 4 and 6 percent of all admissions, respectively.
  • Marijuana has been dropping in usage over the last ten years, and it is now responsible for only about 21 percent of all treatment admissions.
  • Cocaine and crack are slowly but surely declining in usage and in treatment admissions. They now account for less than all other drugs in the state, at about 5 percent.
  • Prescription drug abuse is exploding in West Virginia. After accounting for less than 10 percent of all treatment admissions in 1992, these drugs are now responsible for 60 percent of all admissions.

West Virginia Drug News

Drug use rates may be alarming, but there is some good news on the horizon. West Virginia was recently awarded over $700,000 in federal funds to use to “prevent and reduce substance abuse among young West Virginians.” Getting to young people with the truth about drugs before they learn false information is vital. If you can help young people make good choices about not using drugs, they will likely stay away from vital drugs for life. The funds granted to West Virginia will help it establish prescription drug take-back programs that can keep these powerful narcotics from falling into the hands of children and teenagers.

More Information on West Virginia Drug Treatment

Go to our website to get more information about drug abuse in not just West Virginia, but across the world as well.

Sources & Resources in West Virginia 

WhiteHouse.gov – West Virginia Drug Control Update: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_west_virginia_0.pdf

Statejournal.com: Drug-Free Communities grant program money comes to WV – http://www.statejournal.com/story/23808836/drug-free-communities-grant-program-money-coming-to-wv