One state lawmaker says substance abuse doesn’t recognize neutrality.

House of Delegates Health and Human Resources Committee Chairman Don Perdue said Friday on MetroNews Talkline the state’s substance abuse problem has to be attacked aggressively and that means money.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently received recommendations from his substance abuse task force. Those included proposed tax increases to help pay for drug treatment but Tomblin says he has no plans to raise taxes.

Perdue favors “sin” tax increases because he says the need is so great.

The Wayne County delegate says numbers show there are 40,000 addicts in West Virginia that go untreated and those who do; there are only 300 long-term beds to accommodate them.

“You can see the facilities we need to utilize to combat these problems are very minimal,” Perdue said. “We have got to address the problem. We can’t continue to assume that just by saying ‘no new taxes’ we are doing the right thing.”

Perdue proposes a one-cent increase in the tax on beer. He says it hasn’t been touched since 1965. Perdue would like to see┬áthe cigarette tax go up 50-cents or a $1. The current tax is 50-cents. Perdue says raising it $1 would raise more than $125 million in additional state revenue.

Perdue says he also believes there is money in the existing state budget that can be freed up and forwarded toward the substance abuse issue.

The regular session of the legislature begins Feb. 13.

 

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Comments

  • Jima.

    I just finished reading the above posts and I can't believe such backward thinking regarding the substance abuse epedimic that is in W.V. --you people think that locking people up is the answer-- WRONG! I been there and done it my friends and spent 32 years locked up in Moundsville and Huttonnsville ....I never murdered ,raped or beat old people! I was a drug user that committed crimes to support a habit that I could not stop on my own----No amount of prison time helped me. I am not proud of my past but Imdamn sure not ashamed of it. The only thing that helped me is evidence based treatment which in laymans terms is Medication Assisted Treatment(M.A.T.) I had a lifelong opiate addiction that I acquired in Vietnam. I have 5 years of being substance free with the help of Suboxone. I know what I'm talking about and I bet none of you has ever walked the hallways of any prison- I saw first hand the addicts that were inside those walls that just needed some help after their release-For those of you that are too quick to judge and persecute google Suboxone and do a little research---I would be willing to bet that any inmate that would be released onarole would have the opportunity to receive Suboxone the recidivism rate would fall dramatically- Suboxone is for narcotic(opiate) addiction only. I have wrote members of the state legislature and even the governors office- no body will listen. Now- you so called no it alls that think that lock them up throw away the key is the answer your mistaken and really have no idea of what your talking about....I guess nobody in your family has ever had a problem with drugs or alcohol.... I better stop posting before I start reading your pedigrees!

    • Jima.

      By the way.... My phone number is 412- 377- 9793 if you care to talk about how to really solve this issue regarding Addiction!

  • McDowell Hopeful

    I propose we tax the products responsible for these problems. Pain medications and anti-depressants should be taxed and the proceeds used solely for prevention. You will never jail your way out of drugs. You must reduce the demand. By all means imprison the dealers, get the adicts help, but prevention is the only sure way to stop the spread of the disease.

  • susanf

    THis from the same Delegate Purdue who so adamantly opposed drug testing for those who receive welfare benefits! How ironic! Sure, let's spend more money trying to "cure" the addicts and by the way, continue paying them to support their habits! Makes SO much sense. How about instead, we put more money into tracking them down, arresting them and throwing their sorry asses in jail?? Spend the money to build more jails instead! They can get "cured" of their "addiction" behind bars!

  • Brian

    I wonder how much substance abuse would be curtailed if periodic drug testing was initiated for folks receiving public assistance.

    • susanf

      Brian, your idea makes entirely too much sense! And of course, we can't pick on poor people and infringe on their "rights", don't ya know? Of couse, no one cares about our rights as taxpayers to not have to continue to support them!

  • wvman75

    Like ADC said, "They think it's okay to smoke the bologna pony, but don't want you to smoke a Marlboro." lol

  • wvman75

    There is no "sin" in purchasing and using a legal product. To single out what a liberal considers "sin" is punative taxation. Who voted this knothead into office?

  • Jim

    Well Ross ...everything isn't a joke. All I'm saying is that I believe law enforcement needs to step up to the plate and take a swing instead of waiting for a walk or throwing the game all together ....and I'm Republican....just to lighten the mood ..lol

    • Roger

      Jim, I think you have a point but the real problem isn't as much with law enforcement as it is the judicial system. I believe much of the responsibility lies at the federal level that have tied the hands of judges with sentencing.

      Don't you just love how Democrats can solve EVERY problem with a tax hike? These guys have no clue about looking at problems in any other way. Like many liberals, they just aren't very bright. They accuse conservatives of getting all their information from Fox or talk radio, while they get all theirs from NPR and MSNBC.

  • Shannon

    Alcoholism and Drug Addiction is a cunning and baffling disease. Our prisons are packed with those who suffer this disease. Many of those are not criminals, they are individuals that cannot control the need for a mind altering substance. There are 1000's on the street that suffer also. There are 12 step programs for Alcoholics AA and Drug Addicts NA that address a means of recovery. The unfortunate part is in many situations this comes after alcoholics and addicts have been blessed with attending a rehab facility for a minimum of 28 days or in severe cases longer time. The most severe problem we have is WV does not have but a few rehab facilities. In so many there are a huge backlog to be accepted. There are many states that have multiple offerings however in most case the cost is prohibitive up to $40,000.00 for 28 days. This limits 1000's from getting sober or clean. It is proven this has cost our Industries, our Tax Payers millions of dollars a year. It is time that our State steps up to the plate. By taxing the beverage and tobacco products it is only the sensible means to generate funds to build facilities to help those who want and need help to become productive citizens. Thank God Del Perdue realizes there is a need and a means to generate revenue to get help. Kentucky has addressed their problem and it's working. Let us not wait any longer.

  • Jim

    If we have to spend all this money, why not spend it punishing the people that have made a conscious choice to live outside the law.
    probation is a joke ....we all know the difference between right and wrong. People need to be held accountable

    • Ross Ballard

      Jim, why don't uh you try watching LifeTime Channel more often, ya know get in touch with your feminine side. A steady diet of Fox News has made you cranky.

  • wvman75

    A democrat wanting to tackle a problem by raising taxes. Big surprise. He needs to take a flying leap.

  • Jim

    Being a casual observer I would say that number (40000) is very conservative. I would like to suggest that instead of throwing money at the problem, try throwing the book at them and make it stick. Substance abuse is not a disease ...it is a choice. We have spent tax dollars trying to educate these people with less than stellar results. Actions speak louder than words ...these addicts know going in that its wrong yet they do it anyway. I say ....make the punishment real. I understand that real punishment is expensive but ask yourself this ...how much is your child/grandchild life worth?

    • Ross Ballard

      Geez... Just wave the magic prison wand and pluck your magic twanger and the problem disappears, eh Jumbo?