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SUD treatment beds increase thanks to funding

January 11, 2019

CHARLESTON - West Virginia should have more than 900 substance use disorder treatment beds by the end of the year thanks to the Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund, said Bob Hansen, director of the state Office of Drug Control Policy.

Hansen gave a presentation on the ODCP on Thursday to the House of Delegates Committee on the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use.

The state currently has 500 treatment beds, Hansen said, and through the Ryan Brown funding, 451 additional beds are being developed in each region of the state.

These beds are specifically “treatment” beds, meaning there is some sort of medical component to the treatment model that carries more stringent regulations than a “recovery” bed, which is peer-to-peer based, like Recovery Point.

Del. Andrew Robinson, D-Kanawha, minority chairman of the committee and who originated the bill creating the fund named after a friend lost to an overdose, addressed his concern that the funds were being used only to create medically assisted treatment, or MAT, beds. He said that was not the intent of the legislation.

Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch said he did not necessarily think that was the case, but the beds were “treatment” beds as specified by the law. And while a treatment facility may provide MAT, that did not mean every patient would receive MAT.

Newly opened Project Hope at the Huntington City Mission, a program for mothers with substance use disorders, was funded partially through the Ryan Brown grant funds. The program connects mothers with MAT through PROACT, but the facility itself is a residential home for mothers and their children, providing individual and family therapy, among other services. MAT is not mandatory to utilize the program.

Hansen said he believes there is no one way to recovery, and that is how he plans to run the ODCP.

Quick response teams like the one in Huntington are also in the process of being developed and should be up and running this year. The ODCP gave grants to Kanawha, Raleigh, Mercer, Nicholas and Wood counties to start QRTs.

Huntington’s QRT has been successful, meeting with about half of those who have overdosed and getting about 30 percent of those people into treatment. It has contributed to the county’s reduction in overdose deaths.

Grants have also been given to counties to create Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, programs, another initiative that has seen success in Cabell County. LEAD teams have been created in Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Randolph, Raleigh and Wood counties.

Hansen also gave an update on the new Council of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, which Gov. Jim Justice created in December and is chaired by Marshall University’s Brian Gallagher. The council met Jan. 4 to get organized and is in the process of setting its next meeting date.

Hansen said the council will use the recommendations from the previous administration’s drug council as a starting point for its own recommendations.

The council’s meetings will be open to the public.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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