When Peer Recovery Support Specialist Melinda Price began offering Naloxone training at New River Community and Technical College, she couldn’t have imagined the response. In the first month, Price trained more than 100 New River CTC students, employees and community members on administering the opioid reversal medication Naloxone.
Price also leads Recovery Support Meetings at New River CTC and partners with community organizations, including Jobs in Hope and Problem Gambling and Gaming, to provide support and outreach to New River CTC students and employees.
Price came to New River CTC in the Peer Recovery Support Specialist role in October. She is a 2021 honor graduate of New River CTC with an associate degree in social services and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Academic Honor Society. She has over three years of experience working as a recovery specialist.
The recovery support specialist positions on college and university campuses were developed to assist students that identify as being in recovery along with family members impacted by addiction, build a support system, connect students to recovery services and provide peer to peer services.
New River CTC is part of the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network, an innovative partnership, offering peer recovery support services on eight higher education campuses. Funding for the peer recovery support specialist position is provided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Behavioral Health through State Opioid Response Funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
New River CTC has also partnered with the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network (WVCRN), Marshall University, and the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WV DII) with the “Be The One” overdose prevention initiative on West Virginia’s college and university campuses. The initiative is the first of its kind and will focus on opioid overdose prevention from a bystander’s perspective, encouraging students, staff, and faculty to Be The One to save a life. Fifteen opioid overdose rescue kits, Naloxboxes, were installed at New River CTC locations earlier this year.
The WVCRN is a project of the Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern WV, a higher education collaborative of 11 institutions in southern WV. For more information on the network, please visit www.marshall.edu/crn.
For information about recovery support at New River CTC, visit https://www.newriver.edu/recovery/.