West Virginia opioid program receives HHS grant

West Virginia opioid program receives HHS grant

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently awarded Northern Community College in Wheeling a $189,561 grant for an opioid-impacted family support program.

“The fallout of the addiction crisis has been felt all across our communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said. “Despite the added challenges, we must be able to provide the relief West Virginians need when they need it the most…. Support programs like this at Northern Community College are essential to our relief efforts.”

Last month, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) co-introduced the Crisis Care Improvement and Suicide Prevention Act, which directs states to utilize five percent of a Mental Health Block Grant for crisis care services. This would allow states to upgrade crisis care programs and strategies.

Funding for the program first must be increased nationwide by five percent.

Nationwide, there were 70,980 reported drug overdose deaths in 2019, a record, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

The pandemic has caused an increase in mental health disorders, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A total of 45 percent of adults said they were negatively impacted by stress and worry, 28 percent said they were experiencing a significant disruption in their lives, and 25 percent were experiencing some or no disruption.