Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced earlier today the Governor's Advisory Council on Substance Abuse presented its report outlining recommendations for state, county and local action to combat substance abuse in West Virginia.
"When I formed the Advisory Council and the six regional task forces, I envisioned this to be the first step in a long-term action plan," Gov. Tomblin said. "I am pleased that in three short months, the Council has provided me with a foundation from which we can begin to strengthen our communities and implement the Statewide Substance Abuse Strategic Action Plan."
Since September 2011, the Governor's Regional Substance Abuse Task Forces have met three times in 18 counties representing each of the six regions of the state. Three additional rounds of meetings are scheduled for January, March, and April of 2012.
Recommendations found in the report include, but are not limited to:
* reviewing options for more funding earmarked for substance abuse prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery;
* monitoring and enforcement of options to prevent doctor shopping and accountability related to prescribing and dispensing prescription drugs;
* reviewing options to encourage and support individuals progressing from recovery to employment, including those facing job discrimination.
The report in its entirety can be found online on the governor's website directly at www.governor.wv.gov/initiatives/satf/Pages/default.aspx.
The Governor issued Executive Order No. 5-11 on September 6, 2011, which created the Governor's Advisory Council on Substance Abuse and appointed its members. The Council includes Cabinet level positions in the Department of Health and Human Resources, Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, and the Department of Veterans Assistance. It also includes leadership representing the State Police, Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, West Virginia Supreme Court, the State Board of Education, WorkForce West Virginia, and the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities. In addition to state agency professionals, key stakeholders from community based organizations participated that include substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery service providers, faith based leaders, homelessness and domestic violence prevention advocates, and a range of medical professionals.