West Virginia Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
Substance use runs rampant in our society, and West Virginia has seen its fair share of substance use disorders over the years involving its young adults. According to recent data collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), while much of the substance use in the state hasn’t increased significantly, it remains remarkably close to (if not over) the national average.1
For example, opioid use among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 during the years 2017-2019 remained at 1.8% of the youth population.1 During this time, the national average for opioid use accounted for 1% of the population.1
As for other illicit substances, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc., 7.6% of West Virginia’s young adult population partook in their usage, while the national average was slightly behind at 7.5%.1 Alcohol was also attributed to 33.6% of the young adult population during that same time, while the national average for excessive alcohol use hit 35.4%.1
The recreational and excessive usage of all substances during this time also contributed to substance use disorders among West Virginia’s young adult population. Approximately 7.3% using alcohol developed alcohol use disorder, while 13.4% developed a substance use disorder involving both prescription and illicit substances.1 The national average of substance use disorders at this time saw 9.8% and 14.7% of the population struggle with alcohol and illicit substances, respectively.
Cost of Drug Rehab in West Virginia
The cost of rehab in West Virginia varies based on several factors. For instance, the type of facilities available and the type of program are two determining factors in the ultimate costs. The best way to estimate what drug and alcohol rehab in West Virginia will cost is to consider the following:
- The type of treatment program you need (inpatient vs. outpatient care)
- The duration of treatment needed
- The location of the facility
- Whether it’s a luxury-style facility or offers basic amenities
- Whether or not you have insurance
- Whether or not you’re eligible for special financing or government funding
It’s important not to stress about being able to afford alcohol or drug rehab in West Virginia. While there are some non-negotiable costs, such as room and board, there are plenty of options that accommodate all levels of income.
For example, having insurance can help reduce your rehab costs significantly. Of course, you’ll need to make sure the facility you choose is in-network with your insurance provider. If you don’t have insurance and aren’t able to pay out of pocket, you would need to look for state-funded programs. These facilities sometimes offer free treatment for those who meet certain criteria. They may also offer special financing and scholarships based on your financial needs.
Where Can I Find Low-Cost and Free Rehabs in West Virginia?
Low-cost and free rehabs fall under the state-funded umbrella. These facilities receive funding from both the federal and state government. They also often receive support from local governments via insurance programs like Medicaid, special grants, and private corporations.
Free and low-cost rehabs are the same as any other rehab facility. For example, they typically offer medical detox programs, outpatient care options, transitional and recovery housing, peer support groups, mental health care, and even telehealth options.
To receive free or low-cost drug and alcohol rehab in West Virginia, you’ll need to meet certain criteria. This would include the following:
- You must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must have proof of having a low-income household.
- You must prove your lack of health insurance
- You must be a legal resident of the state.
Does Insurance Cover Alcohol and Drug Rehab in West Virginia?
Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, all states, including West Virginia, require that healthcare providers automatically offer plans that cover mental health and substance use to an extent.2
This means if you have health insurance, then you should have some level of coverage for alcohol or drug rehab in West Virginia. Let’s look at all your insurance options:
Medicaid is both federally and state-funded. The program offers healthcare coverage to low-income families, and it’ll cover the basics for substance use disorders, including:
- Initial screenings
- Intervention assistance
- Inpatient and outpatient care
- Medically assisted detox
- Addiction treatment medications
- Mental health services
However, not all West Virginia drug and alcohol rehabs accept Medicaid. Therefore, you’ll want to verify with each facility before making any treatment arrangements.
Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program specifically designed for seniors 65 and older and individuals with disabilities. Medicare programs come with monthly premiums based on individuals’ incomes. This means that individuals with lower incomes will pay lower premiums.
As for rehab coverage, Medicare is split into four groups referred to as Parts A through D. Each part provides a different level of treatment benefits. For instance, Part A provides coverage for up to 60 days of inpatient treatment, whereas Part B provides coverage for up to 80% of outpatient care, including dual diagnosis disorders.
Private insurance plans under the MHPAEA must provide certain levels of coverage for substance use disorder treatment and mental health disorders. Some of the top insurance providers that offer coverage for rehab include Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare, Cigna, Cobra, and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).
The extent of your treatment coverage will depend entirely on your insurance plan and provider. Therefore, you’ll want to verify what’s covered and what’s not with your insurance provider. You’ll also want to verify which facilities are considered in-network to ensure coverage before making your treatment arrangements.
Popular Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers in West Virginia
When it comes to drug and alcohol rehabs in West Virginia to choose from, you have tons of options. Of course, more options can be overwhelming, so to help you get started on your search, we’ve put together a short list of some of the best care facilities in the state.
Harmony Ridge Recovery Center in Walker
The Harmony Ridge Recovery Center is a highly rated rehab facility that’s also Joint Commission accredited and has a LegitScript certification. Here you’ll find several programs that cater to alcohol and drug detoxing, inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), dual diagnosis care, and aftercare planning.
The facility is also in a lakeside setting and offers several creative and holistic therapies in addition to its evidence-based treatment methods.
Prestara Addictions Recovery Center, in multiple locations
The Prestara Addictions Recovery Center offers a full continuum of care for those with substance use disorders, mental health disorders, and dual diagnoses. Their services include detox, MAT programs, DUI safety and treatment, aftercare planning, and more.
There are several of these centers throughout West Virginia, offering different types of programs. For example, you can find a women-only residential program in Charleston and a men’s-only residential program in Point Pleasant. They also offer recovery housing and outpatient treatment in Huntington, as well as prevention programs across a 12-county area.
All their recovery programs are also CARF-accredited.
Jacobs Ladder in Aurora
Jacob’s Ladder offers a men’s-only inpatient treatment program with an alternative and holistic approach to recovery. While the facility uses evidence-based 12-step programs, they also believe in a therapeutic community environment and offer music therapy, art therapy, wilderness therapy, outdoor therapy, and mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Jacob’s Ladder is Joint Commission-accredited and has a membership in the NAATP.
Healthways in Weirton
Healthways is a state-licensed rehab facility that has been providing substance use disorder treatment and mental health services since the 1960s. There are several treatment programs offered throughout Weirton, as well as substance use disorder recovery programs in Wheeling.
The rehab programs offered by Healthways include intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), men’s only residential treatment, IOPs for women, adult outpatient programs, DUI safety, and treatment programs, and IOPs for adolescents.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab in West Virginia
When searching for drug rehabs near me or alcohol rehabs near me, you should know that there are two types of treatment options: Inpatient and outpatient.
Inpatient rehab refers to long-term residential care, where you’ll be admitted to a facility and live there throughout your treatment program. These programs typically range from 30 to 60 to 90 days. While living at a residential facility, you’ll be provided with a room and a bed, which sometimes includes a roommate. You’ll also get scheduled meals and other amenities depending on the type of facility.
Outpatient rehabs refer to treatment programs that don’t require you to live onsite. They do, however, require that you show up for a certain number of treatment and therapy hours, which are determined by the healthcare team on your case.
There are three types of outpatient programs, including partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOSs), and standard outpatient programs. Each will vary in treatment hours, and they typically require that you attend peer support group meetings outside of your scheduled therapy.
Each type of rehab program comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. However, it all depends on your individual situation.
Here’s an overview of the advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Inpatient addiction treatment programs allow you to take a break from all the stressors in your life so you can focus on recovery and healing. This is arguably the greatest advantage of inpatient treatment, with other advantages including:
- Living on-site with certain amenities and scheduled meals
- Receiving constant care
- A higher level of supervision for the safety and well-being of all patients
- Support with basic functioning, such as taking medication, personal hygiene, etc., if needed
- Environmental stability for those with co-occurring mental health disorders
Disadvantages of Inpatient Care
The disadvantages of inpatient care include the following:
- Facilities are often more expensive and usually only partially covered by insurance.
- Inpatient programs can last up to 90 days, which means time away from work, school, or family.
- Transitioning back to “normal” life is challenging as it involves coping with life’s everyday stressors again.
- Families and friends may not understand how to offer support once individuals return home.
Advantages of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
The concept of outpatient treatment may seem confusing or strange to those new to West Virginia alcohol rehabs and drug rehabs . However, it comes with the following advantages:
- It’s often a more affordable treatment option.
- It allows individuals to work around their own schedules so that their lives and obligations aren’t interrupted.
- There are several levels of care options.
- Individuals don’t have to worry about “transitioning” back to normal life.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Rehab
Outpatient care isn’t suitable for every situation. Here’s why:
- They lack medical detox programs.
- Individuals still must manage everyday stressors since they’ll remain in the same environment.
- There’s less supervision and no 24-hour care.
- It requires significantly more family support and involvement.
Types of Drug and Alcohol Rehabs in West Virginia
West Virginia drug and alcohol rehabs don’t all function the same. While many follow evidence-based methods, each has its own treatment philosophy, set of therapies, and amenities. Many are also designed for specific populations.
Faith-Based and Christian Rehab
Christian and other faith-based rehabs are based on the acknowledgment that the individual isn’t only suffering physically, but spiritually as well. These types of rehabs encourage their patients to form a connection with a higher power for their recovery, which is meant to give them something to rely on when facing challenges.
Luxury rehab centers are significantly different from your typical rehab facility. They tend to embrace a more holistic approach to recovery, with an emphasis on comfort, relaxation, and privacy. They also emphasized customized treatment plans to cater to individual situations and needs. This would include lower counselor-to-patient ratios, for starters.
Because there’s an emphasis on privacy and comfort, luxury rehabs are most often set in more secluded areas such as lakeside, on the beach, or in the mountains.
Executive rehabs are designed for business professionals as they cater to the unique needs of high-level and busy professionals requiring more flexibility, privacy, and additional resources that are conducive to a working environment. Therefore, these types of rehabs include amenities such as private conference rooms, access to computers and Wi-Fi, travel support for work trips, private rooms, and most importantly, discretion.
Holistic rehab programs focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit during recovery. Many of these programs don’t incorporate traditional methods like psychotherapy, but some still use evidence-based methods such as the 12 steps. They also offer medical detox programs and a range of other therapies, including meditation and yoga.
With holistic rehab, the goal is to get individuals on the right path starting with wellness. Therefore, they often serve organic diets, offer wellness activities and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, and creative therapies.
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Dual diagnosis treatment refers to co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Individuals that use substances often do so to cope with underlying mental health disorders, which makes the issue worse. Therefore, dual diagnosis rehab focuses on appropriately diagnosing mental health conditions first to discover the root of the substance use issues to treat them properly.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is meant to support recovery and prevent cravings as well as their subsequent overdoses. MAT uses FDA-approved medications in combination with behavioral therapy and counseling to provide a “whole-patient” approach.3
Research shows that MAT treatment programs come with clinically proven success to treat substance use disorders involving alcohol, heroin, and other opioids and sustain recovery.4 These medications work to balance the brain’s chemistry, block the rewarding effects of substances, and reduce the psychological cravings to bring the body back to a normally functioning state.3
How to Get Methadone at a Methadone Clinic
Methadone is an FDA-approved synthetic analgesic that’s used to help treat substance use dependencies involving opioids and opiates.4 It acts on the brain’s opioid receptors to reduce the pain from withdrawal symptoms and stays active for up to 36 hours.4
Methadone is a highly regulated substance, which means there are strict guidelines for methadone treatment programs to administer it. Individuals must meet the specific criteria to receive admission into a methadone clinic. They’ll have to complete a physical exam and provide blood and urine samples. They’ll also have to provide their history of substance use and any known mental health conditions. Some programs even have an age requirement.
A physician will also determine an individual’s level of dependency based on several factors to assess their needs for methadone. This includes factors such as withdrawal symptoms, overdose risk, failed attempts to stop substance use, and even what friends or families have to say about the individual’s substance use disorder.
Depending on the severity of the substance use disorder and location, individuals may be admitted immediately or put on a waitlist.
Finding Suboxone Doctors
Suboxone (or buprenorphine) is a prescription opioid medicine that blocks the effects of opioids, including pain relief. It can be prescribed alone or with other medications and is often prescribed for substance use disorders involving heroin and painkillers.
Suboxone is highly regulated, making it virtually impossible to obtain without a prescription. Because of this, suboxone clinics and doctors are often difficult to reach, especially since providers prescribing the medication must have special training and be registered with the DEA.
Finding a suboxone doctor involves checking first with your primary care doctor to see if they’re able to prescribe it, are willing to get the waiver required to prescribe it, or can refer you to another doctor or clinic. Another option is to investigate the methadone clinics in your area to see if they offer suboxone, or you can check the SAMHSA’s Physician Locator5 to find the right doctors.
Naltrexone for Alcohol or Opioid Addiction
Naltrexone is an MAT treatment used for alcohol or opioid addiction and can be prescribed and administered by most doctors.6 It comes in pill form or as an injectable, however, the injectables require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to ensure that the benefits of the medication are greater than the risks.
Naltrexone blocks the sedative and euphoric effects of opioids and alcohol by blocking the brain’s receptors to reduce cravings. It’s non-addictive and is not an opioid or an opiate. Therefore it’s not considered to have overuse potential. It also won’t cause withdrawal symptoms when not in use.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) for Alcohol Addiction
Antabuse is a medication—one of the first for alcohol use disorder—that blocks the enzymes used to process alcohol. It causes unwanted side effects if alcohol is consumed with it, including chest pain, nausea, dizziness, elevated heartbeat, thirst, and flushing.
This medication is only prescribed for individuals with chronic alcoholism and cannot be taken if alcohol has been consumed within the past 12 hours. It also cannot be taken along with cough medicine or any food or desserts with alcohol—including vinegar.
Antabuse is not a cure for alcohol use disorder as it’s only meant to prevent individuals from drinking with its unpleasant side effects. Therefore, it should only be used in a rehab treatment setting.
Acamprosate for Alcohol Use Disorder
Acamprosate is another prescription medication that combats chronic alcoholism. It comes in pill form and is taken up to three times per day with food. It works by restoring the natural balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain, which reduces cravings for alcohol.
Acamprosate does not alleviate withdrawal symptoms and it is not a cure for alcoholism. Therefore, it’s only prescribed for individuals in treatment programs.
Should I Travel to West Virginia for Alcohol and Drug Treatment?
There are plenty of reasons why you may want to travel to attend one of the West Virginia drug and alcohol rehabs. Maybe that’s where your family and friends are, and being closer to them will help with your recovery. Or maybe you need to leave the environment that made you develop a substance use disorder in the first place.
Regardless of your reasons, you’ll want to evaluate your needs and determine the type of environment that’ll suit you best. So, if you’re planning to travel to the Mountain State for recovery, you’ll want to think about your regional options:
Regional Considerations in West Virginia
Generally speaking, West Virginia is divided into four regions: The Ohio River Valley, the Allegheny Plateau, the Allegheny Highlands, and the Potomac Section. The state’s most populous cities include Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, and Parkersburg.
Outside of the metropolitan areas are plenty of serene and secluded areas surrounded by nature. It’s up to you to decide which area would be most conducive to your healing and recovery—on top of what’s available.
Drug and Alcohol Laws in West Virginia
In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic and the state’s high rate of substance use, West Virginia’s state government has been working hard to protect and support its residents.
Here are some of the most recent laws to be aware of:
The Overdose Prevention Act
Along with most other states, West Virginia passed a ‘Good Samaritan’ law for individuals seeking medical assistance for substance use overdoses. This Act grants immunity from arrest and prosecution to individuals seeking medical attention for themselves or someone else in the event of an overdose, regardless of having illicit substances or paraphernalia on their person.
The Clean Start Act
The Clean Start Act has recently been introduced and is currently under review. This bill would enable anyone with a felony or misdemeanor conviction for a past non-violent crime committed because of a substance use disorder to have their records sealed. These individuals would be required to undergo comprehensive treatment first to demonstrate a commitment to recovery before being approved.
The ‘LifeBOAT’ Act
The Life Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act is a bipartisan bill under review that aims to establish a stewardship fee to provide and expand access to substance use treatment through the current Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.
This bill would establish a 1% stewardship fee per milligram of active opioid ingredient in a prescription pain pill to support the expansion. It would also include a rebate for cancer-related pain and hospice patients as well as an exemption for opioids used as part of a MAT treatment program.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Behavioral Health Barometer, West Virginia, Volume 6.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, December 1). Mental Health and Substance Use Insurance Help.
- Chanell Baylor. SAMHSA (2021). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021, June 8). Methadone.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioner Locator.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020, September 15). Naltrexone.