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West Virginia's Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline Receives New Management
Date:1/5/2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va., Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- First Choice Services has taken over operation of the West Virginia Prescription Drug Abuse Quitline from the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

"We are excited for the opportunity to continue the operation of this tool that is so vital in the fight against prescription drug abuse in our state," Steve Burton, chief executive officer of First Choice Services, said. "We want to build on the successful foundation the quitline has established the last three years and provide a tool to help solve the growing prescription drug abuse problem in the state."

The success First Choice has had in helping 10,000 problem gamblers in West Virginia over a decade through the Problem Gamblers Help Network, which includes a gambling addiction helpline, led to the request for First Choice to take over the Prescription Drug Abuse Quitline. Both services will draw on First Choice's extensive network of mental health professionals.

The quitline connects persons in need of substance abuse services or family members to a network of mental health providers. While the line is not a service provider, it is a single point of entry for those in need of help.

The West Virginia Prescription Drug Abuse Quitline was created in 2008 with funding obtained through a settlement the state of West Virginia obtained from Purdue Pharma, a prescription drug company, for its aggressive marketing of the drug OxyContin. The funding from the settlement ceased in June 2011.

"We are currently looking for funding opportunities to sustain the quitline," Burton said.  "This is a tool the state cannot afford to lose, and we are exploring both public and private funding options to continue its success."

First Choice needs $300,000 in annual funding to maintain operation of the quitline. The company will seek funding from the Legislature and private sources. The funding will be used to sustain the quitli
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SOURCE First Choice Services
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