CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office is sending $10 million to back to the state’s General Fund and Governor’s Office tagged to help drug abuse treatment and to reduce the backlog of drug tests at the West Virginia State Police crime lab.
The $10 million, combined with another $5 million given back in March, is the fifth time that Morrisey’s office has returned a large amount of money to the state’s general fund. That total now stands at $33.5 million.
Morrisey said this money shows his office's efforts to help West Virginia fund its battle against prescription drug and heroin abuse.
“As a number of our recent settlements are healthcare related, it makes sense to invest these monies to fix our state’s biggest health care epidemic: substance abuse,” Morrisey said in a press release. “Eradicating prescription drug and heroin addiction demands a financial commitment, one our office can support by virtue of efficient operations and successful settlement management.
"This $10 million should treat the addicted and prosecute those dealing drugs in our state.”
This money will be transferred from the office’s Consumer Protection Fund. It ensures that West Virginia realizes the benefit of settlements obtained by this office and the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources and Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.
The Attorney General’s Office returns settlement monies to state agency clients as appropriate.
Morrisey says the drug epidemic is a major problem in West Virginia, adding that from a consumer protection perspective, “there is no greater priority than fighting substance abuse.”