CHARLESTON – A recently launched series of public service announcements, a website, and a new smartphone app will highlight additional resources in the fight against drug addiction in West Virginia.
While we continue to tackle the supply of these drugs coming into our community, we have to do something about the demand. We know this is an epidemic, but unlike epidemics where you can tell someone is sick just by looking at them, we might not notice or be aware of people who are affected. They look like you and me.
Unlike those wearing all red featured in the PSAs, an addict is probably not dressed head to toe in red, so they are not easy to spot. Chances are that here in West Virginia, you have encountered not just one or two, but many each day who are suffering from addiction.
The PSAs focus attention on the challenge of spotting someone suffering from addiction, and provide resources for people to take action. The PSAs urge the friends and family of those struggling with addiction, as well as addicts themselves, to connect with appropriate local services. Viewers of the PSAs are encouraged to download The Call WV app, visit makethecallwv.com, or call the West Virginia state hotline at 1-844-HELP4WV (1-844-435-7498).
One of the most frequent questions we hear is, when someone is ready to seek help for addiction or the addiction of a loved one or friend, where do they turn?
One recent positive development is the state hotline. Another development we are here to introduce today is the launch of a new website and smartphone app to permit folks struggling with addiction to quickly and easily find resources in their immediate area. The website is makethecallwv.com and the app is known as The Call WV.
The website is up and the app is available right now for Apple and Android smartphones. It uses the location function in your phone to show you the resources that exist in your immediate area. We are also working to integrate it with the state HELP4WV hotline.
The Call WV app is a one-stop shop for addiction recovery resources at the state and local level. The map feature of the app can provide assistance finding the nearest place to get help with addiction. The app also compiles information on facilities and organizations that can help someone find recovery housing, residential and non-residential treatment options, meetings and events in the local area, and resources available to prevent drug use in the first place. The purpose of the app is to empower individuals to get the answers they need about how to fight addiction, for themselves and for their loved ones, in their moments of need.
These initiatives were made possible through local partnerships in the public and private sectors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia partnered with the Huntington Police Department to complete these projects. Trifecta Productions, a Huntington business, created the PSAs, and Syntech Creative, also a Huntington business, built and will continue to update the smartphone app. The Huntington Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy also provided essential support for these initiatives.
The PSAs will be available to view at makethecallwv.com, and will be running on local television stations throughout the media markets of Southern West Virginia. The Call WV app is available for free download at the iTunes Store or on Google Play.
The PSAs and The Call WV app are part of a comprehensive strategy led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by law enforcement and public and private sector partners, is committed to aggressively pursuing and prosecuting those responsible for the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin, and also to providing resources to those impacted by drug addiction in communities across the Southern District.
Goodwin is the United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.