Reach the West Virginia Prescription Drug Abuse Quitline at 1-866-WV-QUITT or by visiting http://www.wvrxabuse.org.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Administrators of a hot line that helps West Virginians find treatment for prescription drug abuse are worried the program will be forced to close.
The Mountain State has the nation's highest rate of fatal drug overdoses, and most of those deaths involve prescription drugs. But officials with the West Virginia Prescription Drug Abuse Quitline say state leaders have not shown concern for their funding problems.
The hot line launched in September 2008 with the help of $1 million from a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller OxyContin. That money will run out next year, said Laura Lander, the program's clinical supervisor.
"We provide a service to all West Virginians that is not going to be able to continue if we don't get the funding," she said.
The free, confidential hot line is based at West Virginia University and employs six phone educators trained in crisis and addiction. They can help connect callers with drug treatment centers, educational materials and 12-Step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous.
Many people call because they're not sure whether they are addicted to prescription drugs, Lander said. The hot line also gets questions from people worried about friends' and relatives' drug problems.
"We're really a bridge between the person who needs help, and the help," Lander said.
Painkillers are the most commonly abused prescription drug in West Virginia.
Often, people who want to go to rehab face waiting lists because the state doesn't have enough treatment programs, Lander added.