The function of the office will be to streamline and coordinate efforts of various state, federal, local, and private programs and agencies working to assist West Virginians who are battling substance use disorder.
“We have so many life-changing resources and programs across West Virginia for people who are fighting substance use disorder. My Jobs & Hope West Virginia program now has over 160 graduates – people who have gone through recovery, received job training, and secured meaningful employment – and thousands more West Virginians are enrolling,” Gov. Justice said. “As programs like this continue to be successful, and as other new resources become available, it’s all the more important that we have one central office overseeing all of these various efforts in West Virginia.
“We have a lot of great players in this fight. Now we need to bring all those players together as one big team,” Gov. Justice continued. “By working together, I truly believe we can put an end to the terrible drug crisis once and for all.”
The State Recovery and Hope Office will be organized under the Office of the Governor, but will utilize existing personnel and resources of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The Governor will appoint a State Recovery and Hope Officer who will serve as a liaison between the Office of the Governor and all other entities involved in recovery, treatment, and related job training programs across the state.
The ultimate goal of the office will be to coordinate a statewide approach to provide West Virginians in need of treatment for substance use disorder with needed assistance, and to help transition those in recovery into the workforce by providing them opportunity to obtain career training and secure meaningful employment; thereby further bettering West Virginia’s people, communities, and economic opportunities.
“This office may very well be one of the final pieces of the puzzle that we need to help West Virginians get back on their feet, contributing to society in a way that’s good for everyone,” Gov. Justice said. “I believe that our leaders in the Senate and House of Delegates know how much of a lifeline this legislation would be for so many West Virginians and I truly hope that all members of the Legislature will agree and pass this bill.”
The bill has been filed for introduction with the West Virginia Legislature and will be introduced in the coming days.