By Jess Mancini, The Intelligencer
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Overdose deaths in West Virginia are trending downward and there’s a correlation with the hopefully waning days of the pandemic, according to a state health official on Wednesday.
The Office of Drug Control Policy in the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources on Wednesday reported an improvement in the number of monthly deaths from April to September of 2021, which it said follows provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There’s a clear correlation in regard to the pandemic and the isolation and the inability to access support services for folks who have SUD (Substance Abuse Disorder),” said DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch during the governor’s press briefing on the pandemic Wednesday morning.
The Office of Drug Control Policy has pushed hard for new programs and support services to combat the problem, he said. Overdoses in 2017 were on the rise in West Virginia, highest in the nation. Yet they went down in 2018 and 2019 by 35% as more help was made available, Crouch said…