No state has been as profoundly affected by the substance use epidemic as West Virginia. For several years, West Virginia has led the nation in age-adjusted drug overdose death rates. From 2014 to 2018, the drug overdose death rate in West Virginia increased from a rate of 35.5 per 100,000 to 57.8 per 100,000, far exceeding any other state in the nation according to the CDC.
There is hardly a family in West Virginia who has not been directly and profoundly impacted by this epidemic. The state’s foster care system is strained with substance use disorder now being a multi-generational problem and challenge. Families suffer, emotional scars are endemic, and trauma is rampant among first responders, loved ones, and the affected individuals themselves. Willing employers are unable to hire a qualified workforce, meeting transportation needs is a major challenge, and individuals are unable to support their families while law enforcement and the justice system are operating at capacity. The whole of society is at risk and suffering.
Since 2005, One Voice has provided services to residents of Southern West Virginia impacted by Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Volunteers serve as trained recovery coaches in a compassionate non-judgmental relationship. In 2019, One Voice purchased and renovated a 7000 sq. ft. building in Oceana, WV, once Ground Zero of the opioid crisis and dubbed “Oxyana” by the media. With the commitment of dedicated and passionate One Voice volunteers and the financial support of private donors and an Opioid Response grant from Governor Jim Justice, this community will be Ground Zero of healing and restoration with plans to “Pack and Go” across the state and nation with this pilot program.
For over fifteen years, One Voice has served as a single point of contact for nearly 175,000 residents of Boone, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Greenbrier, Fayette, and Wyoming Counties in West Virginia. Clients of One Voice generally live within 45 minutes of Oceana, which is where the southern regional office is located. Plans to expand locations to the central and northern part of the state are in the process of planning now as funding becomes available.
Recognizing the importance of the whole person, One Voice will address needs in four categories:
- Physical/Mental/Spiritual Health
- Life Skills
- Soft Skills
- Job/Employment Skills
One Voice will become a community hub for families to gather safely and grow. One Cup, the newest business venture of One Voice, will employ those in recovery as part of the aftercare component in the continuum of care process. Dedicated office space is available for Compass Counseling, Southern Highlands and Creating Opportunities for Recovery Employment to give those in recovery wrap-around services under one roof. The training and education center is available for the community and individuals to explore support groups, Telehealth, peer recovery coach classes, among many other opportunities in our state of the art conference center state and nationwide.
One Voice will serve as the relationship manager to assist individuals pursuing recovery in rebuilding lives and communities by making community resources more easily accessible and making fighting stigma a priority.