BECKLEY, W.Va. —
, the new head of West Virginia’s Office of Drug Control Policy, sees progress in West Virginia’s uphill battle with a drug crisis that’s reached every facet of life in the state. He points to a decline in overdoses in Cabell County and a much-needed increase in the number of drug treatment beds.
At the same time, the constant turnover at that office, which was created by the Legislature in 2017, means that Hansen, a few weeks into the job, is now considering steps that typically take place at the beginning of a science-based project, such as developing parameters to measure success. And it means that while DHHR reported in mid-2018 that overdose deaths appeared to be leveling off in the state, state officials don’t know exactly which of their efforts are working most effectively and should be replicated.