West Virginia substance abuse prevention, treatment targeted

West Virginia substance abuse prevention, treatment targeted

West Virginia officials have released the state’s 2020-2022 Substance Use Response Plan as a means of outlining prevention and treatment goals to combat the epidemic.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) and the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment collaborated to provide related specifics. The strategy presents a framework to address the current gaps and needs over the next three years.

The model incorporates prevention; community engagement and supports; integrated health systems; treatment, recovery and research; court systems and justice-involved populations; law enforcement; and public education.

“This plan provides important background on the state’s many initiatives as well as our goals for the coming years,” Robert Hansen, director of DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy, said. “An annual review process will ensure our strategies and objectives remain current and on target.”

The Council solicited input from experts and community members across the state in completing the plan. The ODCP and the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment hosted eight public forums last year to provide residents with the opportunity to provide comments, with feedback also accepted online.

“The substance use disorder epidemic is far-reaching, impacting nearly every family in the state,” Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet secretary, said. “With the advice and support of the Council, DHHR and our Office of Drug Control Policy will work to strengthen our ongoing efforts, and work together with our partners across the state, in combating this epidemic.”

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