West Virginia State Laws for Substance Abuse Treatment
West Virginia Rehab and Recovery Resources
Employee Rights in West Virginia
West Virginia Employee Rights in regards to drugs and alcohol abuse are virtually non-existent with the exception of Federal and state employees. In 2017, the state greatly expanded the rights of employers to conduct drug testing such as urine, saliva, hair analysis, and blood testing. The state’s rationale was that employers have a universal right to prevent, as far as possible, the illegal use of drugs in the workplace. This includes an employee being under the influence at work as it is a risk to other employees and employers. In the expansion of drug testing by the legislature, there were not any considerations or mandating of alcohol and drug treatment policies.
The court system in West Virginia is allowed to make rulings in favor of addiction treatment or adjudication, should they see fit. Outside the courts, employees struggling with drug and alcohol problems are best advised to carefully read and then call their health insurance policies to see what treatment is available. Many health insurance policies will at least cover some, if all of the cost for treatment. This is true if one requests help prior to any drug or alcohol abuse issues, including the failure of drug tests. Bear in mind though, that in West Virginia, employer cooperation is voluntary, rather than government mandated.
Addiction Treatment West Virginia
Noted for its rolling hills, mountains and outdoor recreation, West Virginia was one of two states to get its recognized statehood during the Civil War. West Virginia has political and historical cities and sites throughout its boundaries. Unfortunately, West Virginia also leads the nation in drug overdose cases, in particular, overdoses caused by synthetic opioids. While the overdose rate tends to fluctuate up or down, law enforcement officials also note a greater shift to methamphetamines. Methamphetamines have lower overdose rates, but expose users to more violent and paranoid delusions. Predictably, crime rates have risen with meth drug abuse within the state. While West Virginia drug addiction rears its ugly head, West Virginia addiction treatment and addiction recovery hospitals are struggling to meet the demand for inpatient drug treatment.
Like in virtually every state, alcohol is the number one addictive drug. Other than alcohol, West Virginia seems to be a mixed bag in terms of different types of drug abuse. Opioids and methamphetamines are common, followed by readily available crack cocaine and marijuana abuse. A U.S. government report reveals that lack of quality healthcare and lack of healthcare insurance available to residents of West Virginia. In particular, the need for access to rehab centers to deal with both drug and alcohol abuse is exploding For individuals struggling to gain control of their addiction lifestyles, inpatient drug treatment is often the only appropriate step.
One particularly thorny reason for the high rate of individuals needing recovery options is the medical establishment themselves. According to Business Insider,the high rate of manual labor in West Virginia has led to a significant rise in prescriptions for painkillers such as OxyContin. The growing trend began in the 1990s and has continued to multiply yearly. Because much of the Appalachia region of West Virginia supports the coal and lumber industry, many of the workers are uninsured and the poverty rates are high. As a result, trying to find state-run rehab centers in West Virginia with the room is very difficult. The state does offer support via state and federally funded programs, but they are often at capacity and unable to take in clients.
West Virginia Drug Laws
Compared to many other states, West Virginia drug laws are fairly lenient. The state considers all first-time convictions for possession of a drug to be a simple misdemeanor. This seems to have compounded the issues that the state is having regarding providing drug and alcohol rehab for its residents. The system is already strained under the weight of underfunding, but the lax laws in place currently certainly must have added to the woes.
- The penalty, under normal conditions, is 90 days to up to six months in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000. However, to encourage treatment, West Virginia offers what is termed a conditional discharge, essentially probation, if you have no other drug offenses on your record. Conditional discharge cases save the State of West Virginia millions of dollars per year in court costs as well as in incarceration costs. May feel that this is short-sighted and that the drug laws in West Virginia should be revised.
- Following one incidence of conditional discharge on possession arrests, clients will face double penalties on any new drug-relatedconvictions. Unlikeconditional discharge, individuals will be charged on offenses in other states as well. Therefore, if you get a second charge for possession, and there are additional states involved, the penalty can be up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Keep in mind though, that West Virginia’s relatively liberal policies apply only to simple possession. If you have a stash of heroin, cocaine or methamphetamines, the state has stiff distribution penalties (up to 15 years,) like any other state. Also, even if it’s simple possession, and you are arrested by a Federal Official, the penalties for Federal possession can be somewhat higher.
About West Virginia
Located in the Appalachian region, West Virginia is known for its logging and coal mining industries. Considered a key border state during the Civil War, it was originally part of Virginia State. Home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges and the Shenandoah River, West Virginia is home to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The state capital is Charleston, although it was originally Wheeling. Other large cities in West Virginia include Huntington, Morgantown, and Parkersburg.
There are many colleges and universities in West Virginia including West Virginia State University, West Virginia University, and the University of Charleston. Home to the West Virginia Mountaineers and Marshall Thundering Herd, football has a long history in the state. West Virginia is also known for its musical roots. Appalachia music is a type of folk music which can include fiddles, singing and there is a yearly Appalachian music festival each year. The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra are among the states leading classical music offerings.
THE COASTLINE DIFFERENCE
Coastline Behavioral Health helps clients deal with the stronghold of addiction and behavioral health issues to develop healthier life skills to facilitate sobriety. Alcohol and drug addiction changes behavior in ways that are detrimental and we work in all areas of a client’s life including employment, personal relationships, finances, and health. Coastline Behavioral Health is set apart from the others in modality and treatment options, including the components of experiential therapy that have been developed by specialists in the addiction recovery field to meet individual client needs.
To find out more about our treatment program in Southern California, you can call to speak with a member of our admissions team. We are here to help you every step of the way.
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