RICHMOND, Va. (WVEC) -- One Virginia gubernatorial candidate put out a detailed plan to improve the mental health system and combat an epidemic that has long plagued the Commonwealth as well as the whole nation.

Ed Gillespie released this proposal to improve Virginia's behavioral health system and address all facets of opioid and heroin addiction crisis, including prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.

The plan chiefly focuses on five key principles:

  1. Addiction is a disease, not a moral failing.
  2. Focus on intervention.
  3. We cannot arrest out way out of the epidemic of addiction.
  4. There are multiple pathways to recovery.
  5. Help must be immediate.

“Thousands of Virginians are facing challenges with mental illness and addiction, and too many of them are struggling to find treatment and recovery,” said Gillespie. “My plan will strengthen our mental and behavioral health services and fight the opioid epidemic that has swept across our Commonwealth. As governor, I will work every day to ensure my fellow Virginians facing behavioral and substance abuse disorders receive the care they deserve, and I will work to prevent addiction, provide intervention and welcome those seeking recovery with open arms.”

View the full plan below:

Ed Gillespie's Plan to Combat Opioid Epidemic, Improve Mental Health System by 13News Now on Scribd