HUNTINGTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined First Lady of the United States Melania Trump Monday at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, along with several other health and policy leaders from West Virginia and Washington D.C., to participate in a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis affecting the state and the entire nation.

HUNTINGTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined First Lady of the United States Melania Trump Monday at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, along with several other health and policy leaders from West Virginia and Washington D.C., to participate in a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis affecting the state and the entire nation.
“I’ve said over and over that we have to do everything under the sun to end the drug crisis once and for all,” Gov. Justice said. “The entire Trump family and the First Lady truly get it. They understand how solving this crisis is the most important thing we can do to help the people of our great state and I’m honored to see how committed First Lady Trump is to working alongside my administration in our fight to help West Virginians break the cycle of addiction and get back on their feet.”
During the roundtable event, the First Lady, Gov. Justice, and others discussed what tools and programs are already in place in West Virginia to fight the opioid epidemic. The group, which also included U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, went on to discuss what more can be done to solve the problem in the region as well as all of America.

Also participating in the roundtable were Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito.

“I’m honored I got to join the First Lady and Acting Secretary McAleenan in Huntington today to bring national attention to how West Virginians on the front lines are fighting the opioid epidemic," Sen. Manchin said.

"They got to hear first-hand from those fighting every day and about the impacts the opioid epidemic is having on Huntington and communities across our state. The new and innovative ways our first responders and our drug courts are fighting the opioid epidemic in Huntington are crucial to ending this crisis across our country. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump, the First Lady and Acting Secretary McAleenan to find an end to this horrible crisis,” he said.

“I just want to say to the leadership in Huntington and Cabell County, it has been an inspiration for me to watch,” said Senator Capito during her opening remarks. What you did [is say], ‘This is problem that needs a solution.’ Homeland Security plays an enormous part [in combatting the opioid epidemic], not just right here in Huntington and in West Virginia, but also at the border. Because we know a lot of what we see here has come through our southern border. That’s why I’ve said we’ve got to meet this challenge head-on at the border in terms of disrupting the flow of drugs into our country.”

Later in the day, Senator Capito  met with Cabell County drug court participants and administrators and toured Marshall University’s forensic laboratory to learn more about their partnership with local law enforcement.

Huntington is the epicenter of America’s opioid epidemic. With only about 50,000 residents, Huntington and Cabell County experienced 1,831 overdoses in 2017 with 183 of those overdoses resulting in death. Since then, after the hard work of local, state and federal officials, Huntington has seen a 50 percent drop in overdose deaths.