Recovery Month CLE Featuring Dr. Matthew Christiansen, WV ODCP

September is Recovery Month and Public Defender Services is hosting a free CLE for defense attorneys and non-attorneys working with indigent defendants to learn more about the current drug use trends in West Virginia as well as the effect COVID-19 has had on substance use. Dr. Matthew Christiansen, Director of the State’s Office of Drug Control Policy, will discuss substance use issues in West Virginia and best practices for addiction treatment and recovery. 


  • Location: Virtual via Zoom. Registration closed​.​
  • Date: September 17, 2021 ​
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • Price: Free.
  • Approved for 1.2 CLE credit hours by the WV Bar.​

Program Summary:  

This presentation will give a brief overview of the current drug use trends in the state and a summary of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on substance use disorders and addiction.  It will include a summary of the efforts so far to address addiction in the state, a review of the evidence on best practices for addiction treatment and recovery, and the path forward for WV. 

Learning objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand what drugs are being used in the state and contributing to overdose
  • Understand the existing state resources and processes developed to address addiction
  • Understand best practices in addiction care and treatment
  • Be able to access resources to get an individual into treatment

Speaker Bio: 

Dr. Matthew Christiansen, Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), plans and directs West Virginia’s efforts in combating the opioid epidemic.  He was appointed to this position in October 2020 by Governor Jim Justice. Dr. Christiansen is board certified in Addiction Medicine and Family Medicine and also serves as Associate Professor in the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Health, Division of Addiction Sciences. Prior to his appointment to the Office of Drug Control Policy, Dr. Christiansen was active in treatment of addiction/dependence across the lifespan. He has lectured across the tri-state area on addiction issues from a public health and primary care perspective. Dr. Christiansen earned an MD and MPH from Marshall University.​