Berkeley County being pro-active to help fight addiction during the pandemic

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va (WDVM) — With the pandemic over the past year, fewer people have been connecting to support groups which can lead them to addiction treatment. In West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, Berkeley County is taking an aggressive approach to help those fighting drug and alcohol abuse.

With the pandemic over the past year, those fighting drug and alcohol abuse cannot connect to support groups at their church or community center where groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meet.

Tim Czaja runs the Berkeley County Day Report center and sees the crisis first-hand.

“Overdoses began to increase significantly last year,” Czaja says. “After all these closures began to take place, there is significant value in relationships when it comes to people seeking treatment.”

But Berkeley County has been proactive with a new quick response team to help those who have not been able to successfully fight their dangerous addictions.

“There are some really good statistics that we’ve seen so far,” says Czaja “that there a lot of people who’ve gotten into a detox program, an inpatient program, who probably would not have if not for the quick response team.”

Stephanie Stout coordinates the immediate treatment. Instead of holding in a queue, her program proactively intervenes, helping addicts know right away what their recovery options are.

“We can walk through the process of what recovery looks likes for them,” says Stout, so if they’re ready to make a change whether that’s detox, inpatient, medically assisted treatment, or intensive outpatient, they have those options.”

Stout explains it takes a lot encouragement to get an addict on a pathway to recovery.

“That’s quite scary where you go into a room where you know no one,” says Stout, “or at least you think you know no one. And that fear sometimes holds people back to that point where they don’t go there to get that support.”

By intervening in the high schools the Resource Recovery Center hopes to be even more effective in dealing with addiction. Also, along with 12-step programs, the recovery center provides medical-assisted treatment when needed.

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