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Email: Chapter 16, Article 5T

§16-5T-6. Community Overdose Response Demonstration Pilot Project.

(a) The Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy shall establish a Community Overdose Response Demonstration Pilot Project, to be continued for a period of four years, to develop model government programs to promote public health and general welfare through a comprehensive community-based response to drug overdoses in communities across West Virginia.  

(b) The purpose of the demonstration pilot project is the development of community programs that will focus and use existing resources of government agencies to create outreach programs to educate concerned family and community members, including first responders, to recognize an opioid overdose, and to immediately respond with life-saving measures and quick response teams comprised of law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and a trained opiate case manager to conduct an in-home visit within one week of an overdose.

(c) The objective of the demonstration pilot project is to improve public health by addressing drug overdoses through a comprehensive community development plan. The plan should serve as a model to improve public health and education through a comprehensive community-based response to drug overdoses across the state.   

(d) Communities that experience a high frequency of drug overdoses, compared with national averages as determined by the Office of Drug Control Policy, are eligible for participation in the demonstration pilot project.

(e) The demonstration pilot project shall be developed and administered by the Office of Drug Control Policy to encourage state and local agencies and community groups to work together and coordinate government and community responses to drug overdoses, and identify new and existing funds, personnel, and other existing resources available for the demonstration pilot project. Demonstration projects may include:

(1) Outreach programs to educate concerned family and community members, including first responders, to recognize an opioid overdose and to immediately respond with life-saving measures. This outreach may include basic information, training in the proper and safe administration of Naloxone to reverse drug overdoses, and the distribution of Naloxone kits; and

(2) Quick response teams comprised of law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and a case manager trained in substance use disorder to conduct an in-home visit within one week of an overdose. The quick response teams would work cooperatively to triage and assess overdose survivors and provide linkage to treatment and services for rehabilitation with the goal of reducing repeated overdoses.

(f) The demonstration project may receive funding and other committed resources from federal, state, or local government and community groups.

(g) A community desiring to participate in the demonstration project shall submit a plan to the director that provides for the following elements:

(1) Community participation;

(2) Development of a community action plan with measurable, achievable, realistic, time-phased objectives;

(3) Implementation of the community action plan; and

(4) Evaluation of results.

(h) By majority vote, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Use Disorder Policy created pursuant to Executive Order 10-17 may select one or more communities from those that submit plans for participation in the demonstration pilot project.

(i) Commencing December 1, 2018, and each year thereafter, each participating community shall give a progress report to the director and commencing January 1, 2019, and each year thereafter, the director shall give a summary report of all the participating communities to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability as established in §16-29E-1 et seq. of this code, on progress made by the pilot demonstration project, including suggested legislation, necessary changes to the demonstration pilot project, and suggested expansion of the demonstration project.

(j) This section is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the state, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(k) The demonstration project terminates on July 1, 2022.

ARTICLE 5T. OFFICE OF DRUG CONTROL POLICY.

§16-5T-1. Short title.

This article shall be referred to as the West Virginia Drug Control Policy Act.

§16-5T-2. Office of Drug Control Policy.

(a) The Office of Drug Control Policy is created within the Department of Health and Human Resources under the direction of the Secretary and supervision of the State Health Officer.

(b) The Office of Drug Control Policy shall create a state drug control policy in coordination with the bureaus of the Department and other state agencies. This policy shall include all programs which are related to the prevention, treatment and reduction of substance abuse use disorder.

(c) The Office of Drug Control Policy shall:

(1) Develop a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse and smoking by at least ten percent by July 1, 2018;

(2) Monitor, coordinate and oversee the collection of data and issues related to drug, alcohol and tobacco access, substance use disorder policies and smoking cessation and prevention and their impact on state and local programs;

(3) Make policy recommendations to executive branch agencies that work with alcohol and substance use disorder issues, and smoking cessation and prevention to ensure the greatest efficiency and consistency in practices will be applied to all efforts undertaken by the administration;

(4) Identify existing resources and prevention activities in each community that advocate or implement emerging best practice and evidence-based programs for the full substance use disorder continuum of drug and alcohol abuse education and prevention, including smoking cessation or prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery;

(5) Encourage coordination among public and private, state and local, agencies, organizations and service providers and monitor related programs;

(6) Act as the referral source of information, using existing information clearinghouse resources within the Department of Health and Human Resources, relating to emerging best practice and evidence-based substance use disorder prevention, cessation, treatment and recovery programs, and youth tobacco access, smoking cessation and prevention. The Office of Drug Control Policy will identify gaps in information referral sources;

(7) Apply for grant opportunities for existing programs;

(8) Observe programs in other states;

(9) Make recommendations and provide training, technical assistance and consultation to local service providers;

(10) Review existing research on programs related to substance use disorder prevention and treatment and smoking cessation and prevention and provide for an examination of the prescribing and treatment history, including court-ordered treatment or treatment within the criminal justice system, of persons in the state who suffered fatal or nonfatal opiate overdoses;

(11) Establish a mechanism to coordinate the distribution of funds to support any local prevention, treatment and education program based on the strategic plan that could encourage smoking cessation and prevention through efficient, effective and research-based strategies;

(12) Establish a mechanism to coordinate the distribution of funds to support a local program based on the strategic plan that could encourage substance use prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery through efficient, effective and research-based strategies;

(13) Oversee a school-based initiative that links schools with community-based agencies and health departments to implement school-based antidrug and anti-tobacco programs;

(14) Coordinate media campaigns designed to demonstrate the negative impact of substance use disorder, smoking and the increased risk of tobacco addiction and the development of other diseases;

(15) Review Drug Enforcement Agency and the West Virginia scheduling of controlled substances and recommend changes that should be made based on data analysis;

(16) Develop recommendations to improve communication between health care providers and their patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for acute pain, improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatment and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy, including opioid use disorder and overdose;

(17) Develop and implement a program, in accordance with the provisions of section three of this article, to collect data on fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses, caused by abuse and misuse of prescription and illicit drugs from law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, health care facilities and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner;

(18) Develop and implement a program that requires the collection of data on the dispensing and use of an opioid antagonist from law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, health care facilities, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and other entities as required by the office;

(19) Develop a program that provides assessment of persons who have been administered an opioid antagonist; and

(20) Report semi-annually to the Joint Committee on Health on the status of the Office of Drug Control Policy.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, and to facilitate the collection of data and issues, the Office of Drug Control Policy may exchange necessary data and information with the bureaus within the Department, the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the Department of Administration, the Administrator of Courts, the Poison Control Center, and the Board of Pharmacy. The data and information may include: data from the Controlled Substance Monitoring Program; the all-payer claims database; the criminal offender record information database; and the court activity record information;

(e) Prior to July 1, 2018, the office shall develop a plan to expand the number of treatment beds in locations throughout the state which the office determines to be the highest priority for serving the needs of the citizens of the state.

§16-5T-3. Reporting system requirements; implementation; central repository requirement.

(a) The Office of Drug Control Policy shall implement a program in which a central repository is established and maintained that shall contain information required by this article. In implementing this program, the office shall consult with all affected entities, including law-enforcement agencies, health care providers, emergency response providers, pharmacies and medical examiners.

(b) The program authorized by subsection (a) of this section shall be designed to minimize inconvenience to all entities maintaining possession of the relevant information while effectuating the collection and storage of the required information. The Office of Drug Control Policy shall allow reporting of the required information by electronic data transfer where feasible, and where not feasible, on reporting forms promulgated by the Office of Drug Control Policy. The information required to be submitted by the provisions of this article shall be required to be filed no more frequently than on a quarterly basis.

§16-5T-4. Entities required to report; required information.

(a) To fulfill the purposes of this article, the following information shall be reported to the Office of Drug Control Policy:

(1) An emergency medical or law-enforcement response to a suspected, reported, or confirmed overdose, or a response in which an overdose is identified by the responders;

(2) Medical treatment for an overdose;

(3) The dispensation or provision of an opioid antagonist; and

(4) Death attributed to overdose or “drug poisoning”.

(b) The following entities shall be required to report information contained in §16-5T-4(a) of this code:

(1) Pharmacies operating in the state;

(2) Health care providers;

(3) Medical examiners;

(4) Law-enforcement agencies, including prosecuting attorneys, state, county, and local police departments;

(5) Emergency response providers; and

(6) Hospital emergency rooms and departments.

§16-5T-5. Promulgation of rules.

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources may propose rules for promulgation in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this section. The Legislature finds that for the purposes of section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, an emergency exists requiring the promulgation of emergency rules to preserve the public peace, health, safety or welfare and to prevent substantial harm to the public interest.