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Berkeley County overdose deaths see decrease


The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County has seen a decrease in drug overdose deaths in the last two months, according to Berkeley County Community Recovery Services Coordinator Kevin Knowles, who spoke before the Berkeley County Council on Thursday.

“We went from 7 overdose deaths in March and 7 in April, to 2 overdose deaths in May compared to 7 deaths in May last year,” Knowles said.

In other news, Knowles presented two newly hired recovery services counselors to the council. Stephanie Stout and Raymond Franklin have been hired as full and part-time recovery coaches, respectively. Funded by federal and state grant money, the two counselors start July1, Knowles said.

The recovery coaches will work with individuals who come to the center looking for help, Knowles said.

“They will interact with individuals to find recovery treatment, detox, housing, a job — whatever it may be that they may need in their recovery,” Knowles said.

The Recovery Services Center has added nine additional meetings — three Alcoholics Anonymous and six Narcotics Anonymous — offered by the center each week, effective June 1, Knowles said.

“The additional staff will be there to be able to facilitate those meetings,” Knowles said.

Knowles also told the council the proposed Callahan Counseling Services that was originally slated to open in August, has been pushed back to December. Community Recovery Services is assisting Callahan Counseling Services to acquire state funding for its proposed crisis destabilization and detoxification center.

Knowles said changes in state and federal administration has caused the delay.

“Nationally and statewide, everybody we’ve been working with the last year or so, because of different issues, are no longer with the department,” Knowles said. “It’s a little frustrating, but we’ve been reassured by the Governor’s office, by the Department of Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, that we will moving forward and the project will hopefully open sometime in December.”

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