BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The opioid epidemic impacts thousands of people in West Virginia. With a trial underway in the state capitol, 59News wanted to take a closer look at prevention measures in our region.

“Dead people can not recover and if we want our communities to heal and to grow past this, it is going to take us all working together to do that,” Joanna Vance, Vice-Chair for the Raleigh County Prevention Coalition, said.

The opioid epidemic is taking the stage once again in the Mountain State with a high-stakes trial against three major pharmaceutical companies. The Raleigh County Prevention Coalition works to educate the community on more than just drug prevention by offering Narcan training programs and supply, making the solution to the opioid epidemic a community effort.

“There is a medicine that can save a life and even if you may or may not know someone that uses opioids, you never know if you are going to have a chance and come across someone in the community and be able to save a life,” Vance said.

The coalition also offers drug takeback events to help people dispose of unused medications and drugs safely, mitigating the risk of abuse. Vance said one of the biggest barriers to the epidemic is a lack of education and stigma against people suffering from drug addiction. She said schools and families need to do more in prevention education early on to prevent stigma and misuse.

“There are so many people that are suffering, directly and indirectly,” Vance said. “If we are not educating the people on, this is the importance of, this is why, this is how, then that stigma just builds and then the barriers just become greater than they already are.”

The Prevention Coalition also works on connecting people struggling with drug abuse to community resources, peer and family support and treatment residences.