CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Seventeen West Virginia facilities will split a combined $2 million in federal funding to expand the use of mentors to help drug addicts.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources announcing the funding Monday from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

The DHHR says in a statement these “peer recovery coaches” initiate and help individuals, including finding ways for them to remain drug- and alcohol-free through resources and support groups.

The largest award, $480,000, will go to Recovery Point, a nonprofit group with several locations in West Virginia.

State Office of Drug Control Policy director Dr. Michael Brumage says such services are “essential to curbing West Virginia’s opioid epidemic.”

West Virginia by far leads the nation in the rate of drug overdose deaths.