West Virginia Substance Use Response Plan released

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) The opioid epidemic affects many families in the tri-state. Friday those who help people overcome addiction learned some new methods to help in the fight.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Drug Control Policy and Bureau for Behavioral Health teamed up with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation for a free workshop in Charleston to focus on a comprehensive, person-centered approach to the treatment of opioid use disorder.

Sessions like that one are just one of the ways West Virginia is working to address substance abuse. This week the West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy and the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse released a three year plan.

“The thing about this plan is that it really gets specific so we have developed a lot of goals and strategies,” said Robert Hansen, Director of DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The plan outlines goals in major priority areas.

One aspect of the new plan is prevention early in life.

“We realize that kids are being exposed to more and more and their trauma exposures are higher so we want to be able to build systems of caring adults around them so that we reduce their adverse childhood experiences and help them when they are faced with tough decisions to make the best choice for them,” said Christina Mullins, Director of the Bureau for Behavioral Health.

Another key priority will be access to care.

“We need to be able to help people when they are ready for help in all 55 counties,” Hansen said.

Other focus areas will be public education and increasing resources and training for law enforcement.

“I think we are setting things in place that will lead to our progress but it is going to take time,” Hansen said.

To read the full plan click here.

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