The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today submitted final recommendations for the State’s Opioid Response Plan to Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature. Governor Justice directed DHHR to utilize all available resources to combat this epidemic. DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy worked with a panel of national and regional public health experts to garner public input and review science-supported options to reduce the number of overdose deaths in the State.
“These final recommendations for a West Virginia Opioid Response Plan are straightforward, actionable, and evidence-based,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “We are providing this report to Governor Justice and the Legislature for their consideration. We stand ready to act.”
The expert panel reviewed more than 350 public comments and held a public hearing to provide input and recommendations for a proposed plan. The proposed plan was then placed online for public comment on January 11, 2018, with more than 100 additional comments received. This report includes 12 high priority recommendations for immediate action across six areas of implementation: prevention, early intervention, treatment, overdose reversal, recovery, and supporting families with substance use disorder.
“This response plan is the result of a tremendous amount of work by the expert panel after thorough public engagement. We extend our appreciation to members of the public, the expert panel, and the various subject-matter experts who participated in the public forum and provided written comments,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “We believe public engagement was extremely helpful to the expert panel in this process.”
The final recommendations for the West Virginia Overdose Plan are posted online at www.dhhr.wv.gov/bph.