WV to receive $6.6M for overdose death prevention

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOWK) – West Virginia will receive federal funds to help prevent and respond to overdose deaths in the state.

According to U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing $6,653,952 to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Violence and Injury Prevention Program: Overdose Data to Action. The program is designed to help collect data to help officials work toward reducing overdose deaths in the state.

“The CDC’s Overdose Data to Action program helps integrate the information we receive into tangible, on-the-ground prevention strategies and solutions,” Capito said. “No two communities are the same, and our approaches to end this crisis should resemble that. I’m confident that this funding and this program can have a meaningful impact across West Virginia in our continued battle against substance use.”

According to Capito, recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows overdose deaths in the Mountain State increased by 49% last year due to the pandemic. She said these “incredibly stark” numbers emphasize the importance of making sure states and communities have the resources to end overdoses and addiction.

“The opioid epidemic continues to have devastating impacts on our state, our communities, and our families,” said Capito.

Manchin said 1,377 West Virginians died from drug-related overdoses in 2020 and that nine “commonsense bills” have been reintroduced to combat the crisis. He said each of those bills will aim to address a different aspect of the drug epidemic.

“This drastic, heartbreaking spike in overdose deaths further underscores the need to take action now and to gather the necessary information in order to combat the drug epidemic. This CDC funding will help West Virginia on drug overdose data collection, prescription drug monitoring, prevention efforts and treatment access across the state,” Manchin said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction contact the Drug Helpline online at https://drughelpline.org/ or by calling 1-844-289-0879.

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