HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Access to addiction treatment just became easier in the Mountain State under a new program to help addicts on their road to recovery.

“Transportation To Care” rides to those battling drug addiction and abuse for all 18 transit systems in West Virginia.

The program under the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Behavioral Health first launched in February an to date, has provided more than 7,600 trips statewide for those in recovery.

The West Virginia Public Transit Association is working collaboratively to provide transportation under WV DHHR’s State Opioid Response Program.

West Virginia Public Transit Association President, Jennifer Woodall said, “If transportation to those resources isn’t available, then they’re more likely to relapse or perhaps not get the help that they need for a full recovery.”

One recovering addict who found sobriety through the transportation program, Melissa Bailey, said she had been on and off pain pills since high school, lost her driver’s license and lived over an hour away from her treatment facility.

“It would have been impossible to do without it, without the transportation system, it would’ve, I don’t know where I would be or what I’d be doing without it, I hate to think it… so it’s really been a lifesaver for me,” said Bailey.

A first-of-its-kind lifesaver that was made possible through federal grant money.

“It’s a double-edged sword, we are glad to be able to provide trips to treatment but it’s sad that we have so many people that need treatment,” said Woodall.

If you are in need of transportation to addiction recovery, call (800) 696-6195 and get connected with the proper transit authority to best serve you.