Addiction is an Epidemic in West Virginia

West Virginia Rescue Ministries, Inc offers that Jesus is bigger than addiction! 40-MILLION Americans (that’s 1 out of 7) have an addiction problem……as compared to only 27 million with a heart condition, 26 million with diabetes and 19 million with cancer. The most heart wrenching and alarming news is that West Virginia is leading the country in addiction.

In addition, to the preceding facts, local media released alarming news in November 2015 – informing the public that 50% of the babies born in Harrison County were born with an addiction. Sadly, Marion County is not far behind.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation reports that drug overdose death rates among 12-25 year olds was highest in the state of West Virginia with males being 2.5 times more likely to overdose and die than females (this is five times higher than the lowest rates in North Dakota).

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Substance abuse affects people from all walks of life and is a growing problem throughout the state of West Virginia, with over 152,000 West Virginians in need of treatment.

In 2008, West Virginia had the highest rate of prescription drug overdose deaths in the United States, surpassing both motor vehicle crashes and falls as the leading cause of accidental death. In five years (1999 – 2004), deaths resulting from drug overdoses in West Virginia rose 550%. This was the largest increase of any state in the country.

West Virginia has one of the highest rates in the country of non-medical use of prescription pain relievers in 19 to 25 year olds. Opiates are the number one cause of death associated with drug overdoses in West Virginia.

From 2001 to 2010, West Virginia had a 214% increase in the number of prescription drug overdoses in the state.

The number of people who died in one year from overdoses of prescription drugs alone is more than six times the number of people who died from overdoses of all other illegal drugs combined.

From 2009 to 2012, opioid exposure reported to the WV Poison Control Center increased by 12.5% from 460 to 518 reported incidents.

In 2010, oxycodone and hydrocodone, both opioids, were the top two abused prescription drugs in West Virginia, oxycodone with 39% of percentage of total drugs abused and hydrocodone with 28%

“While law enforcement officials, lawmakers and medical professionals are all scrambling to find solutions to West Virginia’s heroin epidemic, EMTs and paramedics across the state are receiving calls almost daily, rushing to the homes of those who’ve made it to the very edge with their addiction,” is the perspective of public responders reported by WV Public Broadcasting Network.

Never before have the services of WVRM, Inc been so absolutely necessary and in need or your constant financial and prayerful support. We are not scrambling for a solution, we believe we have one….. it is a healing Jesus who wants desperately to help the addicted in West Virginia.

West Virginia Rescue Ministries’ purpose is to reach the least, the last, and the lost with the physical and spiritual bread of life, through its ministries of men’s shelter, women’s and children’s shelter, family shelter, soup kitchen, and Penny Pincher thrift stores. We provide hot meals to all who wish to come with no questions asked. We shelter those who request it. But perhaps one of the most important things that we set out to accomplish is to see the binding chains of sin fall off those who are being held captive by drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and other forms of addiction.

As part of our plan in moving forward with this information, with the help of the Advocate Volunteers, we will be delivering gift bags to the addicted mothers for their drug addicted babies complete with information about WVRM, Inc and the recovery services available.

As Executive Director of WVRM, Inc, I see the task at hand as being a bit overwhelming. However, the good news is that God does not change and in addition to offering shelter and food, we believe and offer deliverance to all who are afflicted through Jesus. We believe that Jesus can provide healing to the addicted individual. THERE IS HOPE and HELP in JESUS! Consider today….. JESUS IS BIGGER THAN ADDICTION!

George E. Batten
Executive Director