West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch appointed Jim Johnson as director of the newly formed Office of Drug Control Policy earlier this week.
Johnson served as director of the Huntington Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy from 2014-2017, addressing drug addiction and creating a holistic approach involving prevention, treatment and law enforcement. His prior experience includes serving as Police Chief/Officer for the City of Huntington for more than 40 years.
“In a time when West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate is more than double the national average, I am confident Jim Johnson’s proven leadership and wealth of experience make him the right fit for this critical position,” Crouch said. “Having someone in place who not only has knowledge, but also managerial experience in a similar office at the local level, will bode well for West Virginia.”
DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health, led by Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner, will oversee the Office of Drug Control Policy.
“West Virginia’s drug epidemic has become the state’s number one public health problem,” said Gupta. “The new Office of Drug Control Policy is extremely important to our comprehensive approach to combating substance misuse and reducing the number of deaths occurring in West Virginia.”
Johnson’s appointment is effective September 2, 2017.
“This is a tremendous honor to lead the Office of Drug Control Policy as I believe this office will make an impact statewide to protect the public’s health,” said Johnson.