W.Va. Substance Abuse Task Force Makes Suggestions

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A task force on substance abuse has made policy and program recommendations for the West Virginia state Legislature to consider.

The Legislature's 60-day regular session begins Feb. 13.

One of the recommendations made by the Governor's Advisory Council on Substance Abuse addresses drug disposal options, including take-back events. It also suggests issuing public assistance by electronic card instead of by check to reduce the flow of paper money.

The group also suggests raising state alcohol and tobacco taxes, with the new revenue being put toward prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery services.

Another recommendation calls for the development of women's treatment facilities in Ohio County and in a 10-county region that includes some southern and Ohio River counties.

According to federal figures, West Virginia suffers the nation's highest drug overdose death rate.