Bill Increasing Treatment Beds Passes West Virginia House

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill authorizing an increase in the number of beds available at facilities for substance abuse treatment.

The bill passed on a 99-0 vote. It now moves to the state Senate.

The bill would authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to build a new facility or enter into an agreement with a private entity.

Funding would come from settlements of multiple lawsuits that accused wholesale distributors of flooding the state with prescription pain pills. In one lawsuit, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health agreed in January to pay the state a combined $36 million.

West Virginia currently has more than 1,100 treatment beds but struggles to meet demand. The state has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate.