What is drug addiction?
Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain—they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease. Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of the underlying organ, have serious harmful consequences, and are preventable and treatable, but if left untreated, can last a lifetime.
People who suffer from addiction often have one or more accompanying medical issues, which may include lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders. Imaging scans, chest X-rays, and blood tests show the damaging effects of long-term drug abuse throughout the body. For example, research has shown that tobacco smoke causes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, blood, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. In addition, some drugs of abuse, such as inhalants, are toxic to nerve cells and may damage or destroy them either in the brain or the peripheral nervous system.
Local Crisis and Support Resources
Counselors provide support to teens and adults who are negatively impacted by alcohol addiction and provide resources to local group therapies. Call 1-888-425-2666 to locate and register for a session.
BRCTC Recovery Services
The BRCTC Recovery Program is a support system for students, faculty, and staff regardless of where they are in their recovery process. Services are also provided to those who are close to something struggling in recovery and would like to receive support.
Individual and group sessions are provided by staff members who have been trained by the West Virginia Recovery Coach Academy. All services are free and confidential.
If you are interested in speaking with a Recovery Coach regarding individual or group sessions, please contact one of the Recovery Coaches below.
*Staff members are mandated reporters and must report disclosures involving harm to one’s self or to others.
Detox Local connects you to a detox center near you. Martinsburg, WV has two detox centers; Behavioral Health Services of Shenandoah Valley Medical Systems and Martinsburg Institute. Speak with a Detox Advisor at 1-844-371-1650 to learn more.
Greater Recovery and Community Empowerment (GRaCE) provides recovery and life coach training in addition to coaching services. Visit their website at www.strengthingrace.com to request a free coach. Coaching sessions can be provided via Zoom, phone call, or in-person in a public setting.
State/National Crisis and Support Resources
National Drug Helpline
The helpline will help towards a path of recovery. Services are private and confidential 24/7. Call 1-844-289-0879 to speak with a professional and/or locate more resources.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-days-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing addiction. Call 1-800-662-4357 or visit their website at samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.
- BRCTC rules and sanctions are available on the website.
- There are many laws that govern alcohol and drug use. For specific questions regarding laws and possible sanctions, please contact your local legislature.
Federal Law: How Drug Convictions Affect Financial Aid
The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires all colleges and universities to notify all students, even those who are not receiving financial aid, about the financial aid implications of drug convictions. Under federal law, anyone convicted of a drug offense while receiving federal financial aid will lose their eligibility.
Here’s a quick guide to the regulations:
Those convicted of possessing illegal drugs will lose financial aid eligibility for:
- First offense: 1 year from date of conviction
- Second offense: 2 years from date of conviction
- Third offense: indefinitely
Those convicted of selling illegal drugs will lose financial aid eligibility for:
- First offense: 2 years from date of conviction
- Second offense: indefinitely
For more information, review the Federal Student Aid rules on financial aid eligibility. We also invite you to acquaint yourself with BRCTC’s drug and alcohol policy.
If you have questions about this federal financial aid policy, speak with a financial aid advisor.