EPA rollback of clean water regulations is good news for Appalachian region

A West Virginia University water expert believes there is good news in this week’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announcement repealing the 2015 rule that expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. Jason Hubbart, director of the Institute of Water Security and Science at WVU, says the decision will put more control at the state level.

Censorship of suicide scenes in entertainment media may do more harm than good

Censoring teen suicides in entertainment media like “13 Reasons Why” may do more harm than good, according to West Virginia University’s Elizabeth Cohen, an associate professor of communication studies. Cohen says the well-publicized study that linked the show to a subsequent suicide contagion was flawed and a “poor piece of evidence” that the show caused young adults to take their own lives.

WVU professor says building socially responsible businesses will help women’s workforce participation, substance use recovery efforts

A West Virginia University assistant professor wants to see the Mountain State increase women’s workforce participation, particularly women in substance use recovery. While Jenifer Gamble, field education director for West Virginia University’s School of Social Work, acknowledges great need, especially in light of the opioid crisis, she also sees the opportunity for improvement.

‘Red flag’ laws would be upheld under court challenge

A West Virginia University law professor believes ‘red flag’ laws, if challenged in court, would be upheld. John Taylor, Jackson Kelly Professor of Law in the College of Law, calls the proposals being floated in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton “compromise measures.”

Political response to mass shootings is ‘illogical,’ sociologist says

The answer to preventing horrific mass shootings can’t be reduced to a single political issue, according to James Nolan, a West Virginia University sociology professor and former police officer who also worked for the FBI as a unit chief in the Crime Analysis, Research and Development Unit. Nolan says the focus should move from individuals’ behaviors to systemic change.

Women’s studies expert commemorates Toni Morrison’s ‘expansive’ legacy

The news of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s passing provides an opportunity to reflect on her literary and cultural legacy, a West Virginia University women’s and gender studies expert says. The way Morrison “centered the complex lives of her black characters” is as pivotal as her acclaimed novels are, according to Lupe Davidson of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Opioid epidemic effect in state’s public schools creates ‘crisis in the classroom’

A West Virginia University study of the state’s public schools found that more than 70 percent of teachers reported an increase in students affected by substance use. Teachers need more training and more resources to keep up with “A Crisis in the Classroom,” according to Frankie Tack, WVU Addiction Studies Minor Coordinator and Clinical Assistant Professor.

Reframing the problem ‘essential’ to alleviating opioid crisis

A West Virginia University health policy expert says The Washington Post analysis of targeted markets for opioid distribution sheds further light on the fact that substance use disorder has many causes and consequences. Accountability for addiction rests not only with the individual, but within the social and economic context that create an environment conducive to drug access and abuse, according to Chris Plein, professor of public administration.

WVU focusing on preparing social work professionals to deal with opioid addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that West Virginia has the highest rate of opioid-related deaths in the United States; also alarming, the state has a shortage of mental health professionals to provide treatment for people coping with addiction and recovery, according to West Virginia University expert Deanna Morrow.

Systemic flooding of pain pills into Appalachia ‘obscene’

Dr. James Berry, West Virginia University’s director of Addiction Services, says data from the Drug Enforcement Administration revealing the targeted distribution of pain pills and the corresponding rise in overdose deaths is alarming, if unsurprising to those who treat addiction.