CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that Berkeley and Jefferson counties are joining the state’s pilot anti-drug program.
The counties will team with West Virginia University and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Drug Control Policy to strengthen and expand prevention and recovery resources, the governor said.
“These counties are in the top 10 when it comes to the highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in West Virginia,” Justice said. “West Virginia communities need solutions, and this initiative will help us determine what works so that we can develop a model that can be replicated across the state.”
The program implements activities across the continuum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, overdose reversal, family support and recovery, a news release from Justice’s office said.
“As West Virginia continues to lead the nation in drug overdoses and child removals from the home, initiatives like this are critical,” DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch said. “I am thankful for the leadership of Gov. Justice and expertise of our partners at WVU as we work to create a brighter future for West Virginia children and families.”
Medical professionals, health departments, first responders, law enforcement, faith community members, behavioral health providers, schools and recovery coaches with be engaged in the process.
This is the second program Justice has announced. The first was based in Wyoming County and is a partnership between the Office of Drug Control Policy and Marshall University. That program is in the final stages of planning and budgeting, the release said.