Earl Ray Tomblin on Drugs



Prioritize combating substance abuse from many angles

We must continue to make the fight against substance abuse a top priority. In 2011, I established my Advisory Council on Substance Abuse to help us find more localized ways to combat this epidemic. Since then, we have updated our prescription drug monitoring program, cracked down on the sale of drugs used to make meth and put an end to doctor shopping. We have shut down pill mills for irresponsible prescription practices, and my administration is committed to continuing the fight against drug companies that oversupply pain medication without proper orders. Last year, we invested significant state funding to expand critical substance abuse treatment and recovery services. This September, we launched 844-HELP-4-W-V, the state's first 24-hour substance abuse help line.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to West Virginia legislature , Jan 13, 2016

Behavioral therapies MUST accompany anti-addiction meds

Tonight, I'm introducing legislation to establish licensing requirements for medication-assisted treatment facilities. Research shows us that the use of Suboxone and Methadone alone does not support long-term recovery. This legislation requires counseling and behavioral therapies be used in conjunction with these medications to make sure those seeking treatment have the support they need to begin the recovery process.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to West Virginia legislature , Jan 13, 2016

If you get high, you won't get hired--Drugs aren't working

For over 40 years this country has wrestled with drug abuse. This is more than a social problem, it's an economic problem. Too many people who can't pass a drug test go somewhere else--somewhere where they don't test--somewhere where it doesn't matter.

Source: 2013 State of the State Address to W.V. Legislature , Feb 13, 2013

Substance abuse re-offenders cause prison overcrowding

It's no secret that West Virginia's correctional system is overextended. Statistics now show the number of people in our prisons is increasing at three times the national average. Last year, I brought together State and local leaders and research professionals as part of an effort to find a solution to our outdated and overcrowded prison system.

The Council of State Governments has succeeded in increasing public safety and reducing recidivism in states like Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I asked them to help me construct a plan--keeping public safety as our number one priority. What we learned was simple: substance abuse is a huge part of prison overcrowding, and the high re-offending rate intensifies the problem.

We must act now to address these challenges. We must work to increase public safety and reduce habitual offenders. Their recommendations are projected to save the State of West Virginia over $116 million over the next six years while making West Virginia a safer place.

Source: 2013 State of the State Address to W.V. Legislature , Feb 13, 2013

Not just criminal penalties: use technology for enforcement

Illegal drug use and the abuse of prescription drugs affect all of us. It is an equal opportunity destroyer of dreams and lives. It affects the poor, the affluent, the educated, and everyone in between. That is why this past year I formed the Governor's Substance Abuse Advisory Council and six Regional Task Forces. They have been collecting the facts, working with prevention, detection, and treatment experts in order to increase the access and effectiveness of our substance abuse programs.

Solving our drug problems is not just about increasing criminal penalties. I have learned that we must use technology to fight our drug problems and enhance enforcement. We must use our prescription monitoring program so that when an abuser tries to doctor or pharmacy shop, we stop it.

I will require that individuals pass a drug screening prior to enrolling in our state's taxpayer funded workforce training programs. Now is the time to get serious about ending drug abuse and addiction.

Source: West Virginia 2012 State of the State Address , Jan 11, 2012

Support substance abuse care

Substance abuse is an issue that affects us all. It's a personal issue that hurts our families, it's a civic issue that hurts our communities and it threatens our reputation as hard working West Virginians.

Focusing on this issue from a local level gives any West Virginian who wants to help address this problem an opportunity to do so. We will improve the statewide continuum of care for substance abuse, and coordinate efforts to increase both public & private support of substance abuse initiatives.

Source: 2011 gubernatorial press release, "Task Forces" , Jan 1, 2011

Other governors on Drugs: Earl Ray Tomblin on other issues:
WV Gubernatorial:
Jim Justice
WV Senatorial:
Joe Manchin III
John Buckley
Natalie Tennant
Pat McGeehan
Shelley Moore Capito
Zane Lawhorn

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Fulop(D) vs.Lesniak(D)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2016:
DE: Bonini(R) vs.Carney(D)
IN: Pence(R) vs.Gregg(D)
MO: Hanaway(R) vs.Brunner(R) vs.Kinder(R) vs.Greitens(R)
MT: Bullock(D) vs.Perea(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.McChesney(D)
NC: McCrory(R) vs.Cooper(D) vs.Spaulding(D)
ND: Dalrymple(R) vs.Stenehjem(R) vs.Becker(R) vs.Heitkamp(D) vs.Pomeroy(D)
NH: Hassan(D) vs.Bradley(R) vs.Sununu(R) vs.Lavoie(R) vs.Connolly(D) vs.Dextraze(I)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Niemeyer(R) vs.Pierce(R)
UT: Herbert(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Cook(D)
VT: Shumlin(D) vs.Minter(D) vs.Dunne(D) vs.Scott(R) vs.Lisman(R) vs.Smith(D)
WA: Inslee(D) vs.Bryant(R)
WV: Kessler(R) vs.Cole(D)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2015):
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
OR-D: Kate Brown
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Lame ducks 2015-16:
DE-D: Jack Markell
(term-limited 2016)
KY-D: Steve Beshear
(term-limited 2015)
LA-R: Bobby Jindal
(term-limited 2015)
MO-D: Jay Nixon
(term-limited 2016)
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
(retiring 2016)
WV-D: Earl Ray Tomblin
(term-limited 2016)
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Page last updated: Sep 10, 2016