- Associated Press - Thursday, August 17, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Jim Johnson has been named director of the West Virginia’s new Office of Drug Control Policy.

Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch announced Johnson’s appointment Thursday.

The Office of Drug Control Policy will combat substance abuse and will be overseen by the Bureau for Public Health.

West Virginia has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate, with 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015. State health officials say overdose deaths rose nearly 18 percent last year.

Johnson was director of Huntington’s Office of Drug Control Policy from 2014 until his retirement this year. He was a police officer and interim police chief in Huntington.

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