To fix any problem, the first step is understanding why you have the problem. A recent summit hosted by WVU Extension Service took that approach when discussing the Opioid Crisis in West Virginia
"We're learning a lot about the nitty-gritty of the issue, how is affecting individuals, families, communities," said Elaine Bowen, Extension Specialist for WVU Extension Service.
Dozens met at Jackson's Mill on Monday to hear from experts on the tragedy that's not only affecting many in West Virginia but across the nation.
"All these problem areas are in some way affected by families struggling, communities struggling," she said.
The question they asked is 'why West Virginia?'
Some of the reasons:
Physicians over prescribing and poor socioeconomic conditions.
But the eye opener in the room:
Physically demanding jobs like mining and gas sometimes lead to increased injuries, and many needing pain relievers.
Doctor Kevin Blankenship, founder and medical director of Jacob's Ladder Addiction Recovery Program in Preston County emphasized the state's dilemma to substance misuse.
Of course discussions like these are just the beginning, but (in addition to helping those already affected by this crisis find treatment), it's important to remember to keep the root causes in mind. Only then can we stop this crisis once and for all.