Congressman McKinley sponsoring bill aiming to fight drug epidemic
West Virginia leads the nation in drug overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.West Virginia leads the nation in drug overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are 52 overdose deaths per 100,000 in West Virginia.
NEWS9 sat down with Congressman David McKinley (R-WV), who is behind a number of bills, one of which would help rural communities across the state receive more funding to tackle the epidemic.
"The problem - there is just as intense in the larger communities, but they don’t have the resources to fight it,” McKinley said.
McKinley is the lead co-sponsor on a bill that would give these communities more access to grants.
"In the HHS, or in the federal government, there will be a clearinghouse so people can contact them and say ‘Here's the best source of money for you for a small town’,” he said.
The question is how it can best be spent to curb drug habits.
McKinley recently introduced legislation with a New Jersey congressman that would create a pilot program in hospitals to expand medically assisted treatment for overdose patients.
"People come in to the emergency room from an overdose, begin the treatment then,” he said. “Don't ask them to come back when a bed is available, but begin the treatment there."
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