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    West Virginia lawmakers throw $24 million at helping 30,000 addicts

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    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – With more than 30,000 West Virginians already in drug treatment, lawmakers have voted to spend $24 million from recent court settlements with opioid distributors increase inpatient beds to help address the state’s addiction crisis.

    The bill passed by the House and Senate and awaiting Gov. Jim Justice’s consideration would authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to ensure that treatment beds are available in the highest priority areas throughout the state.

    They would give preference to West Virginians and accept private, insurance or Medicaid payments and work closely with drug courts.

    According to the department, West Virginia currently has 314 crisis and detoxification beds and 818 recovery beds.

    The West Virginia Behavioral Health Providers Association says its members provide mainly outpatient addiction treatment to about 30,000 people.

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