DoHS Announces Success of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs

The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS), Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH) and Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) today announced the successful outcomes of DoHS-funded substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs.
“Overcoming a substance use disorder is not as simple as resisting the temptation to take drugs,” said Christina Mullins, DoHS Deputy Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. “Like many other chronic conditions, effective treatment options are available for SUD. While no single treatment method is right for everyone, recovery is possible, and help is available.”
The Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard for 2023 shows West Virginia is currently a national leader in helping individuals initiate and engage in treatment for alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse or dependence, and initiation and engagement in treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Depending on the type of SUD, treatment may include medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), outpatient counseling, inpatient rehabilitation, or behavioral health care.
A recent evaluation report of the 1115 SUD waiver, from January 2016 to December 2021, shows the percentage of Medicaid providers offering SUD treatment services increased by 25%, reflecting the combined efforts of DoHS and the provider community. Delivery of treatment services increased since the implementation of the SUD Waiver and the use of outpatient services for SUD continued to rise after the waiver was implemented. The level of inpatient stays for any cause showed a statistically significant decrease among SUD enrollees immediately following the implementation of components of the Section 1115 Waiver.
“Our commitment to providing diverse and effective treatment options is reflected in the improved outcomes we have achieved,” said Cindy Beane, DoHS Bureau for Medical Services Commissioner. “West Virginia’s commitment to providing evidence based practices is being recognized nationally and modeled in other states.”
In addition to the outcomes observed in the Medicaid program, national outcome measures in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2022 for the State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant, administered by DoHS’s Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH), showed participants were less likely to use alcohol or illegal drugs at their six-month follow-up, had no past 30-day arrests, were more likely to be employed or attending school, were less likely to experience alcohol or drug related health, behavioral, or social consequences, and were likely to have permanent place to live in the community. Additionally, participants symptoms of depression and anxiety, attempted suicide, and injection drug use decreased with rates reflected at or above the national average.