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West Virginia Senate passes Senate Bill 715, Eastern Panhandle representatives hopeful for continued recovery support

By Breanna Francis, The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — With the unanimous passage of a West Virginia Senate bill aimed at creating a state-level Recovery and Hope Office Tuesday, representatives from the Eastern Panhandle said they are hopeful for the future of substance use disorder recovery as the state works to match local efforts.

The bill, titled the State Recovery and Hope Office Act, was first introduced by 13 senators, including Sens. Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, and John Unger, D-Berkeley/Jefferson, from the Eastern Panhandle. It originated in the Committee on Health and Human Resources on March 26, according to state legislative documents.

According to Unger, serving the 16th District, the passage of Senate Bill 715 is answering a call to create state-level support for local recovery efforts throughout the state. The bill passed in the Senate just a week after he gave a speech to attendees of the State’s Recovery Community Day celebration, held via Zoom, in which recovery organizations from across the state came together to share resources and stories of recovery and hope.

“As I said in my speech on Recovery Community Day, until we get a handle on and address substance use disorder and mental health for our workforce, we are going to have a hard time attracting people to our state,” Unger said. “This COVID pandemic has created more of an epidemic in the regard of addiction and mental health because of loneliness, isolation. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection, and I would go so far as to say community.” …

To read more: https://www.journal-news.net/journal-news/w-va-senate-passes-senate-bill-715-eastern-panhandle-representatives-hopeful-for-continued-recovery-support/article_0ffe7ac9-db60-50c0-8fb9-c2265e3a3575.html

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