CHARLESTON — West Virginia will receive more than $35 million from the federal government to help in its fight against the opioid crisis.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Sept. 4 more than $1.8 billion to go to states and territories as part of its State Opioid Response grant program. West Virginia will receive more than $28 million from that program. It also will receive $7.4 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help track overdose data.
"Over the last several years we've heard constantly from medical professionals, law enforcement, and others on the front lines of this crisis that we need more resources for treatment and prevention,” Rep. David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) said. “West Virginia is the epicenter of the opioid crisis, and until recently was not getting it's fair share of funding. I have worked to target federal resources to states that are particularly hard hit, like West Virginia. As a result, West Virginia has seen a five-fold increase in funding.”
The State Opioid Response grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provide flexible funding to state governments to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services in the ways that meet the needs of their state.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said the state has received $70 million in State Opioid Response in the last two years.
“West Virginia has the highest overdose rate per capita of any state in our nation and the impacts of this epidemic can be felt in every family, every community and every corner of our state," Manchin said. "That’s why I fought to make sure that states like West Virginia, where mortality rates are through the roof, receive more funding.
"This language more than tripled the amount of funding our state has received over the last two years. West Virginia is ground zero and we need all of the funding we can get to help those struggling with substance use disorder receive treatment and help heal from this crisis. This funding will go a long way and I will continue to fight to ensure West Virginia is getting our fair share of funding to fight this epidemic."
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said the CDC money is part of a three-year cooperative agreement known as the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A). The purpose of the program is to advance the understanding of the opioid epidemic and improve prevention and response efforts.
“Federal funding like this plays an important role in contributing to the fight to end the drug epidemic that is devastating so many families and communities across West Virginia,” Capito said. “I helped change the state grant formula in the Labor-HHS government funding bill, and the benefits of that change are evident today with the distribution of this second round of resources.
"Making sure these funds are available is one of my top priorities as a member of the Appropriations Committee, but it’s even more important to me that these funds are going to states like ours with the greatest needs. That’s exactly what my changes to the state grant formula make possible. I am glad to see this critical funding come to our state and will continue to advocate for these much-needed resources.”