West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his office will send $10 million to back to the state’s General Fund and Governor’s Office in hopes to spur drug abuse treatment and reduce the backlog of drug tests at the West Virginia State Police crime lab.
Morrisey believes this $10 million demonstrates his administration’s efforts to help West Virginia fund its battle against prescription drug and heroin abuse, an epidemic killing far too many in the Mountain State.
“As a number of our recent settlements are healthcare related, it makes sense to invest these monies to fix our state’s biggest health care epidemic: substance abuse,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
“Eradicating prescription drug and heroin addiction demands a financial commitment, one our office can support by virtue of efficient operations and successful settlement management,” Attorney General Morrisey added. “This $10 million should treat the addicted and prosecute those dealing drugs in our state.”
This week’s $10 million will be transferred from the office’s Consumer Protection Fund. It ensures that West Virginia realizes the benefit of settlements obtained by this office and the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources and Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.
From a consumer protection perspective, Morrisey said, “there is no greater priority than fighting substance abuse.”
Each dollar returned to the state coffers also represents one less dollar its Governor Tomblin and state legislators must take from the Rainy Day Fund to balance the state’s struggling budget.