Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced today that West Virginia has joined efforts with Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee in the formation of The Interstate Prescription Drug Task Force. The task force met for the first time yesterday in Ashland, KY, to discuss approaches central Appalachian states are taking to address substance abuse and explore opportunities to collaborate on those efforts.
"West Virginia is not alone in dealing with the problem of prescription drug abuse nor is there a one-size fits all solution to this issue," said Gov. Tomblin. "I believe that sharing our collective talents and expertise will offer our great state and region a more multifaceted approach to address this growing problem."
The task force's mission is to "identify and recommend to leadership in the member states opportunities for collaboration and cooperation to stem prescription drug abuse and provide for better treatment and recovery to those affected by prescription drug abuse."
Representatives from various agencies within the four states attended the meeting, where they discussed treatment and recovery; prescription monitoring programs; awareness and education and law enforcement efforts.
The states will take the information shared in yesterday's meeting, work together on similar concerns and determine ways to address issues. The group will meet again on a date to be determined in October.
Gov. Tomblin will outline the scope of the West Virginia Substance Abuse Task Force in coming days.