A Federal Drug Emergency Could Help West Virginia


With numerous facilities across the state, the Prestera Center offers one of the best known drug treatment programs in West Virginia. But a national emergency declaration could mean more federal dollars, to expand treatment and hire more people.

“More funding, to cover services that are not currently funded would help us. We have a variety of ways. Our programs are not receiving funding at the levels that we’d like, to serve the number of people that we want,” said Kim Miller, of the Prestera Center,

According to the Washington Post, a federal drug emergency could mean more Medicaid dollars coming to hard hit areas of the opioid crisis, including West Virginia. Many lawmakers have been asking for more aid for years.

“It’s time to get the boots on the ground and actually do something about this when it comes to treatment, prevention and enforcement,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha.

Advocates say the supply of drug treatment programs, is greatly outweighed by the number of addicts. More federal aide from the White House could mean reaching more people in need.

“For example, per-treatment services. Getting people ready to come to treatment. Reaching out to those nine-out-of-ten people who don’t ever make it to treatment. And getting them ready, motivating them to come in for services,” said Kim Miller, of the Prestera Center.

Right now, one person dies every ten hour in West Virginia, from a drug overdose.

While no one is yet certain how much more federal aid might be coming, it’s worth noting that West Virginia still has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation.

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