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Substance abuse prevention group gets $200K federal grant

May 25, 2021 GMT

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A group fighting substance use addiction in ground zero of the opioid epidemic in one of West Virginia’s largest cities will receive a $200,000 federal grant.

West Virginia’s U.S. senators announced that Recovery Point of Huntington will receive the funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program offers no-cost services for people with substance use disorder, a press release said.

The grant will specifically help target recidivism among those struggling.

“Every West Virginian has been impacted by the drug epidemic and with over 90,000 overdose deaths, this past year has been the deadliest on record,” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement.

“Programs like this help give deserving people their lives back, and I look forward to the impact this investment will make in our state,” Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito added.

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In an ongoing landmark trial, Cabell County and the city of Huntington are arguing that drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp created a “public nuisance” by flooding the area with 80 million opioid doses over eight years and ignoring the signs that the community was being ravaged by addiction.

Attorneys for the suppliers have deflected the blame by arguing suppliers are not responsible for what happens to drugs after they are delivered.