History of Recovery Point West Virginia

On May 22, 2005 four teenagers were shot and killed on prom night in front of an apartment in the 1400 block of Charleston Avenue in Huntington, West Virginia. Authorities believed these senseless killings were somehow tied to drug-related activities. According to an article written in The Herald Dispatch on May 21, 2008, “the shootings have come to symbolize the tri-state’s struggle to curb the drug trade and brutal violence often associated with it.  It sheltered the belief that small communities were immune from the most violent crimes and shed light on a lucrative drug pipeline controlled by crack cocaine traffickers from large metropolitan areas.”

This tragedy motivated residents to take action and begin finding solutions to the problems in the tri-state area. According to Don Perdue, a state delegate from Wayne County, “We have to make something out of that horrific tragedy that is productive and successful.” Following a local drug prevention summit that was hosted by the Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, many felt that a local recovery facility in Huntington would be a great start in the efforts to reduce the demand of drugs. Following the meeting, one of Perdue’s council members brought up The Healing Place, located in her hometown of Louisville, KY. Perdue reflected and plainly stated, “we need to go and visit the facility.”

Upon visiting The Healing Place, Future Board Member, Debby Hibbard shared, “I was so impressed with how the program worked and the attitudes of the clients; I was in awe. I knew that if we could bring this to Huntington, we could save lives. We would need a lot of support, but we had to try.” The Healing Place had been in existence for more than 20 years. They remained faithful to their promise of reaching the homeless, offering recovery for the addicted, and restoring people to productive members of society. It took just one more committee meeting to finalize the mission and make a final decision. They would bring The Healing Place model to Huntington. The Healing Place was hired to provide a replication team to ensure the integrity of the model stayed intact. Raising the necessary funds for start-up and operations, however, would be Huntington’s responsibility.

In August 2008, the building that used to be Lincoln Elementary School located at 2425 9th Avenue in Huntington, was purchased with the intent to help many sick and hurting people. It was a highly visible location in a former blue-collar east-end neighborhood that had become known as drug-infested. Based on The Healing Place models throughout Kentucky, these neighborhoods were appropriate for such facilities. Over the next couple of years, the building began to take shape into a place where men would begin a life-changing transformation of their own.

The Healing Place of Huntington opened with 10 beds in January of 2011 and quickly expanded to 50 beds the following year.  In 2016, The Healing Place of Huntington changed its name to Recovery Point of Huntington and over the next few years expanded its footprint to a statewide level. Recovery Point of Huntington is now known as Recovery Point West Virginia (RPWV), reflecting our continued commitment to expanding our mission to all parts of the state.

Today, RPWV is a strong and thriving organization still focused on providing hope for those seeking help from substance use disorder and assisting people on their path to recovery. We operate five facilities in four locations across the state with 360 treatment beds available to both men and women. Our long-term residential recovery services are provided at no cost to the participant; the program is centered on the evidence-based, peer-driven social model of recovery that includes adherence to the 12-Step program and the Recovery Dynamics curriculum within our facilities. We provide services for approximately $25 per person, per day. When you consider that short-term clinical recovery facilities can cost approximately $250 per day­ and sitting in jail costs taxpayers $75 per person, per day, the benefit of the model we follow comes into clear focus.

Our work also reaches into the Peer Recovery Support arena. RPWV provides training to meet the educational requirements of the Peer Recovery Credential offered by the West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction and Prevention Professionals (WVCBAPP). This 46-hour course provides training in Boundaries & Ethics, Core Competencies of Recovery Coaches, and guides students through the PR Credential application process. RPWV employs Peer Recovery Support Specialists in various settings throughout the state. You will find our Peer Recovery Support Specialists working in hospitals, Emergency Departments, inpatient drug-free mother-baby programs, county health departments, licensed behavioral health centers, Quick Response Teams, and drug courts/day report programs across the state.

As we grow, we are committed to an innovative approach to expand our reach. In 2019, we launched the opening of Recovery Point West Virginia Behavioral Health which is a Licensed Behavioral Health Center focusing on providing mental and behavioral health services for those suffering from substance use disorder (SUD). Growth is the goal of every man or woman that enters our doors. Yet in the same breath, it has also been the goal of Recovery Point West Virginia since opening its doors in 2011 with just 10 beds. We are thankful to each individual who has helped form and mold Recovery Point West Virginia into what it is today. We look forward to continued growth as an organization and are dedicated to providing hope and the tools for recovery to help individuals suffering from substance use disorder to begin rebuilding their lives.