- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says West Virginia’s toll-free line for drug-related problems has received more than 7,500 calls since it began more than a year ago.

Tomblin says the state advisory group on drug abuse has coordinated 20 rounds of community meetings in six regions while helping drive reforms aimed at curbing the state’s drug epidemic.

He says authorities now look at substance abuse “as an illness, not a crime,” increasing access to the drug Narcan that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses and improved treatment and recovery services.

According to the governor, $1.3 million from settlements in a lawsuit against prescription drug distributors will support residential treatment and recovery for women, detoxification and crisis stabilization beds for youths and adults and court diversion to drug programs.

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