West Virginia gets $5.9M to help fight drug addiction

Photo: Drug Enforcement Administration / MGN

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia will receive $5.9 million from the federal government to help fight drug addiction.

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin announced the grant Thursday from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The funding is aimed at preventing prescription drug addiction and improving access to treatment and recovery services.

A total of $485 million in grants are being awarded to all 50 states. It's the first of two rounds of funding made possible by the 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress passed in December.

Funds were awarded based on rates of overdose deaths and unmet needs for opioid addiction treatment. West Virginia has the nation's highest drug overdose death rate by far, with 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, the latest year available.

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