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Buckhannon, WV — West Virginia Wesleyan College is proud to host a two-day symposium on substance use disorder recovery. The symposium will be held on Friday, September 20 through Saturday, September 21 in Wesleyan’s Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. 

A collaborative group of Wesleyan faculty and community members will explore a variety of successful approaches to substance use recovery being implemented in our region. The symposium will be of interest to healthcare providers, people in recovery, researchers, individuals and families, criminal justice workers, educators, governmental officials, and anyone else concerned about the issue.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2019), West Virginia has the highest age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids. Many organizations throughout the state have risen to the challenge to address this epidemic. This symposium highlights examples of current approaches, such as prevention programs, treatment centers, mental health assessments, retraining, etc., and advocates for bringing these together into a comprehensive approach.

This event is truly an integrated approach to treatment modalities. Four sessions will be offered:

Session 1: Initiatives from Health Communities in West Virginia. Topics include harm reduction, medication assisted treatment and screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT).

Session 2: Community Support in West Virginia. Hear from local advocates about assisting those with substance use disorder in reintegrating into their communities.

Session 3: Neuroscience Research in Substance Abuse and Recovery. Explore brain recovery with addiction.

Session 4: Criminal Justice and Support of Substance Abuse Recovery in West Virginia. Learn about new ideas on the role of the criminal justice sector with substance use disorder.

Keynote speakers include Commissioner Betsy Ellis Jividen, West Virginia Division of Corrections & Rehabilitation on the first day. Then, on day two, Casey Steckling from Dayton Recovers will share the success of their integrated approach. Bob Hanson, Executive Director and State Task Force Chair on Drug Policy, will provide an overview of the statewide plan to address substance use disorder prevention and recovery.

Registration is $50 for both days. Continental breakfast, snacks and lunch will be provided for paid registrants. Onsite registration begins at 8 a.m. T-shirts will be available for the first 50 paid registrations and will be available for purchase for others. CEUs available for some professionals. To register, go to https://wvarecoverssymposium.eventbrite.com