West Virginia to expand early drug intervention program with $4.2M grant


West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice recently awarded the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) a $4.2 million grant.

DHHR will use the funding to expand the West Virginia QLA Early Intervention Program into the areas with the highest need.

The program includes three initiatives.

The Angel Initiative allows the state police to refer people to substance use disorder treatment.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion provides community-based supportive services as an alternative to the criminal justice system in cases involving low-level offenses.

Quick Response Teams work with individuals in 22 counties who experienced an overdose, providing links to treatment options, social service referrals, and recovery support.

“This grant will allow the state to create a comprehensive approach to effectively divert people with substance use disorder out of local jails and prisons, and move them into treatment services,” said Dr. Matthew Christiansen, DHHR Office of Drug Control Policy director. “We are grateful to Governor Justice for directing these funds to ODCP to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.”

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance provided the grant funding. The Justice and Community Services Section of the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services will administer it.