Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 21, 2013

W.Va. meetings detail efforts to fight pill abuse

HUNTINGTON, — Authorities say they’re seeing an alarming increase in heroin trafficking in West Virginia.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Thursday that while prescription drugs represent the biggest crime problem in West Virginia’s southern district, heroin seizures have increased more than fourfold from 2011 to 2012.

Scott Masumoto of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says prescription drugs sold on the street can cost $80 per pill or more. That makes it difficult for teenagers to sustain their addictions, so they are moving to “cheaper” alternatives such as heroin.

Federal statistics show West Virginia has the second-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation.

They spoke during prescription drug seminars held in Charleston and Huntington. Other speakers included U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Congressman Nick Rahall and White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske.

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