New program to help families dealing with substance abuse

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 7:02 PM EDT
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The WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities is collaborating with Burlington United Methodist Family Services, WV Home Visitation Providers and Wheeling Hospital to create a new program called WV IMPACT.

The program aims to address the needs of children who are exposed to substances while the mother is pregnant.

“How we’re going to do that is with a multi-generational approach, which is treating the entire family,” Tracie Murphy, a supervisor for the family services in Grafton said.

With this approach, the program will help improve the health and well-being of children diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), women who were, or are, using substances, and their families who receive services from home visiting programs.

“We are making a lot of community contacts because we want to get involved as early as possible,” Murphy said.

IMPACT is designed to create ways to help bring about healthy development and help families as a whole to operate independently successfully.

For those who believe they need the assistance, they have to fill out a form and meet the following qualifications:

- Have a child who was diagnosed with NAS or exposed to substances in utero.

- Be an active client in a home visiting program.

- Live in Marion, Harrison or Preston counties.

From there, Murphy said they will help assist those in the program with the services they are already getting and help meet the clients needs.

“It’s no secret that West Virginia at this point has the highest rate of substance use disorder,” Murphy said. “I’ve always had a heart for this,” she said. “It has hit each and everyone of us in some way.”

Which is why she is working to be a leader in this program to help others.

For more on how to get involved with WV IMPACT, you can contact Murphy by email ( or by phone (304-614-0888).

This is a study and participation is voluntary. It will have no affect on services that you are already receiving. The WVU CED is providing funding for the project.