West Virginia gov releases substance abuse response plan

Published: Oct. 15, 2019 at 3:55 PM EDT
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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice debuted a plan Tuesday to help people get jobs as they recover from addiction.

The Republican governor unveiled the program, Jobs & Hope West Virginia, at the Putnam Career and Technical Center in Eleanor.

The statewide collaboration will provide career training programs and help people in recovery navigate the job search process, Justice said. The state has set up an online portal where people can register to be connected with a "transition agent" who will build personalized plans and connect a person with social services.

"If we don't believe this is a problem that can cannibalize all of us, we're making a real bad mistake," Justice said, calling the program "a step in the right direction."

West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country.

State officials have also announced a series of public forums on substance abuse in the state. The first forum was planned for Tuesday at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.