West Virginia needs an Addiction Action Plan that includes:
Enforcement: we will support our drug task forces with the resources they need to protect our state borders and to stop the flow of heroin and fentanyl coming into West Virginia. We’ll take a data-driven approach, working more closely with our federal partners, and do a better job of collecting and analyzing data about drug trafficking trends. We’ll implement a statewide overdose mapping tool and warning system.
Prevention: a trauma-informed approach should be implemented statewide, much like they’re doing in the City of Martinsburg. Using the ACE Study (Read The Study), we can identify children who need counseling and mental health resources before they start using drugs.
Treatment: more beds are needed, as we have too many people leaving the state for help or going without treatment. West Virginia has made a good start with the Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund (Learn More), but we need to expand it for more resources.
Recovery: West Virginians may not realize the lack of resources available to support long term recovery. A private/public partnership like Recovery Point WV (Learn More) is an excellent model.
Re-entry: Once released, drug offenders need to find employment and housing. If we don’t help, they’ll reoffend and return to prison, costing taxpayers even more. We will restructure the Second Chance for Employment Act (Learn More) to help more non-violent citizens who have paid their debt to our society and remained clean, to apply for the program to get their lives on track.