Office of Drug Control Policy’s director retiring

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s director of the Office of Drug Control Policy is retiring, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Department spokeswoman Allison Adler told the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Wednesday that Gov. Jim Justice “will be announcing a new director soon” to replace Bob Hansen.

Hansen has been the agency’s director since December 2018, making him the third person to oversee the office since it was created by the Legislature in 2017. He helped launch the West Virginia Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse, Prevention and Treatment, designed to direct resources toward addiction services and recovery.

Hansen previously served as the director of Addiction Services at the Marshall University School of Medicine and Marshall Health Systems, he was also CEO of Prestera Center.

According to data from the Office of Drug Control Police, the state has seen an increase this year in the number of emergency calls and emergency room visits involving drug overdoses. However, information on fatal overdoses for 2020 won’t be available until next year.