Office of Drug Control Policy passed by Legislature

House Bill 4103 was passed by lawmakers, February 4, and sent to Governor Jim Justice for his signature, continuing the Office of Drug Control Policy within the Department of Health and Human Resources under the direction and supervision of the secretary and with the assistance of the State Health Officer.

The Office shall create a state drug control policy in coordination with the bureaus of the department and other state agencies. This policy shall include all programs which are related to the prevention, treatment, and reduction of substance abuse use disorder.

Among others, the Office of Drug Control Policy shall:

(1) Develop a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse and smoking by at least 10 percent.

(2) Monitor, coordinate and oversee the collection of data related to drug, alcohol, and tobacco access, substance abuse disorder policies, and smoking cessation and prevention, and their impact on state and local programs.

(3) Make policy recommendations to ensure the greatest efficiency and consistency in practices.

(4) Identify existing resources and prevention activities in each community.

(5) Act as a referral source of information.

(6) Apply for grant opportunities.

(7) Make recommendations and provide training to local service providers.

(8) Review existing research on programs related to substance use disorders prevention and smoking cessation and prevention.

(9) Review Drug Enforcement Agency and the West Virginia scheduling of controlled substances and recommend changes that should be made based on data analysis.

(10) Develop recommendations to improve communications between health care providers and their patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for acute pain, improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatment, and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy, including opioid use disorder and overdose.

(11) Develop and implement a program to collect data on fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses caused by abuse and misuse of prescription and illicit drugs, from law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, health care facilities and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

(12) Develop and implement a program that requires the collection of data on the dispensing and use of an opioid antagonist from law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, health care facilities, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and other entities as required.

(13) Develop a program that provides assessment of persons who have been administered and opioid antagonist.