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First Choice Services

 

First Choice Services

 

Partnership Activities:

First Choice Services is a nonprofit component of First Choice Health Systems, a Charleston, WV behavioral health care provider. This partnership was initiated through meetings between the WVU ICRC assistant director for outreach, and the First Choice program director for the ATARI program (Appalachian Technology Assisted Recovery Innovations). These discussions, focused mainly on substance abuse and overdose prevention, led First Choice to invite the WVU ICRC outreach director to serve on the First Choice Advisory Board. The ATARI program uses technology (a mobile app) to support recovery for individuals who are battling drug and alcohol addiction. The app provides recovering addicts with information on addiction treatment and resources, and the ability to engage their providers and interact with others in recovery. The program provides these services to a network of clients through support by a grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

 

Public Health Impact of Partnership:

The network of recovering drug addicts served by First Health’s ATARI program (including those who have abused prescription opioids) has been offered, and may potentially serve as a research and implementation resource for WVU ICRC initiatives, especially with regard to overdose prevention and suicide prevention. This partnership has enabled WVU ICRC to raise awareness of specific research projects in the behavioral health care community in WV. For example, the WVU ICRC affiliate researcher who is Principal Investigator on the overdose prevention pilot in southern WV (see ICRC Partnership 2 described above) was invited by the ATARI program director to present preliminary findings from the research at a West Virginia Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors conference in October at Canaan Valley, WV.

 

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