Drug Abuse

Dr. Robin Pollini, an overdose and drug abuse expert, provides specialized technical assistance and consultation on harm reduction programs on the county and state levels. On the statewide level, she works closely with the WV Harm Reduction Coalition. Current consultation projects include standardization of data fields to ensure uniform collection of information across programs and the development of an annual survey for harm reduction programs. She has provided technical assistance on syringe exchange program operating procedures. In addition, Dr. Pollini advises providers and state and local policy makers on evidence-based harm reduction practices. At the county-level, Dr. Pollini provides technical assistance to multiple county public health departments. She helped the Wyoming County Health Department write a state grant application, which was awarded $80k to start their syringe exchange program and mobile harm reduction program and serve as the first site for the WV Southern Counties Harm Reduction Program. Dr. Pollini drafted another grant to expand these efforts to three additional southern WV counties: Summers, Mercer, and McDowell. Notably, Wyoming and McDowell counties rank first and second in the US, respectively, in rates of prescription opioid overdose deaths. She created the training materials and conducted state-mandated training for all harm reduction program staff members in all four counties. Dr. Pollini has also worked closely with Milan Puskar Health Right, located in Morgantown, WV, to secure grant funds for a photovoice project to raise community awareness about the effect of stigma on drug abuse. Along with helping to write the grant, she provided expertise on planning and implementation throughout this project.