In 2018, a national study found the opioid epidemic cost West Virginia $8.8 billion a year through costs associated with care, recovery and related court costs, as well as financial impacts such as worker productivity. West Virginia University is helping the state by creating and supporting opportunities for those with substance use disorder to rejoin the workforce and lead fulfilling lives.


Pressures within supply chains paved the way to an oversupply of prescription opioids, WVU researcher finds

A study from WVU global supply chain expert Ednilson Bernardes finds manufacturers and suppliers of opioids, particularly national corporations, influenced how pharmacies bought and distributed those prescriptions. Bernardes and a colleague tested a model using a dataset combining geographic, market and public health data.

WVU collaboration earns $1.35 million POWER grant to reduce impact of substance use, develop a healthy workforce

Dr. Gordon Smith, epidemiologist in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, and his colleagues have received a $1.35 million three-year grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to reduce the impact of substance use in McDowell, Wyoming and Mercer counties. This POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative grant aims to help employ people who formerly injected drugs and are from areas savaged by job losses.

WVU researcher concludes that loss of work can lead to poor health, higher death rates

West Virginia University School of Public Health’s Dr. Christopher Martin has found that a loss of work can actually be bad for one’s health and could even lead to higher death rates. Among those experiencing a loss of work, there was an increased chance of dying specifically from cancer, heart disease, suicide and opioid overdoses.

WVU chief economist: Opioid crisis has cost West Virginia nearly $1 billion

West Virginia University’s chief economist said the opioid epidemic in West Virginia and across the U.S. has come with a hefty price tag, causing a void in this state’s economy of nearly $1 billion.