"So addicts get very frustrated trying to access services because they feel like they're running up against brick walls," she said. "We help support them while they're waiting."
Lander said she has reached out to state lawmakers and other officials, but has gotten no response.
"If we had a whole bunch of lobbyists in Charleston," she said, "then I'm sure we would be much more effective."
She estimates it will take $13,000 a month -- about $156,000 a year -- to keep the hot line open. All the employees work part-time, Lander said.
Drug overdoses kill more West Virginians per year than car accidents do.
In 2008, 390 West Virginians died from accidental overdoses involving prescription drugs, according to the state Health Statistics Center. That was up from 91 in 2001.
In a busy month, the quit-line gets about 80 calls, Lander said.
When the program has money to advertise, more people call in, said Keith Zullig, who is in charge of research at the program.
"Billboards have been very successful," Zullig said, "but they're expensive."
Wayne Coombs, director of the West Virginia Prevention Resource Center, which works to prevent drug abuse, said many programs have struggled to get state funding to fight addiction.
"So far, West Virginia is not really -- at least in terms of funding -- taking substance-abuse problems seriously," he said.
Reach Alison Knezevich at alis...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.