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WV First Foundation Handling Opioid Funds

August 31st, 2023 by WCBC Radio

This week, five new appointments to the West Virginia First Foundation were announced by Governor Jim Justice.  The private foundation is responsible for the statewide distribution of opioid settlement funds that now approaches $1billion.  Suggestions on how to use the funds include medication for addiction treatment and harm reduction services – such as needle exchanges, naloxone, and overdose prevention centers. West Virginia Hope in Action Alliance Executive Director Mary Newlyn says services are needed to help stabilize communities and families.

At least 1300 drug overdose deaths occurred in West Virginia in 2020, a 51% increase compared to 2019.