Harm Reduction in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle

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Responding to CDC reports about a spike in Hepatitis C infections across numerous West Virginia counties, and thanks to a grant from the Harm Reduction Coalition’s HEPConnect Initiative, CEG is currently working in collaboration with the Exchange Union to expand harm reduction services in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. West Virginia leads the U.S. in opioid and drug overdose deaths, a trend that is not only troubling in itself but also because injection drug use and substance abuse are key drivers for communicable disease. With more than half of the state’s counties at high risk for Hep C and HIV, CEG’s goal is to get out in front of the problem before it reaches epidemic proportions by expanding the state’s focus beyond opioid death reduction and abstinence-only chemical dependency programs, to include safe syringe programs and linkage to care.

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