W.Va. unveils plan to address substance abuse
BECKLEY, W.Va. -- West Virginia is unveiling a plan to address the state's substance abuse epidemic.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says the state is dedicating $7.5 million for the establishment and expansion of regionally based substance abuse support services. He made the announcement Thursday at a drug treatment center for mothers in Beckley.
Tomblin said the state needs more prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery programs throughout West Virginia.
State lawmakers set aside the $7.5 million for substance abuse earlier this year, but it was left to the governor to decide how to use the money.
The Governor's Advisory Council on Substance Abuse and six regional task forces earlier this year advised funding local, regional and statewide service programs as part of a comprehensive plan to address drug abuse in West Virginia.
The governor's advisory council recommended a tax increase on tobacco, liquor and lottery products to help pay for substance abuse prevention and treatment, but Tomblin rejected that recommendation.
Officials say the state Department of Health and Human Resources will solicit bids to establish and expand services in the coming months.