West Virginia Leads Nation In Drug Overdose Deaths - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

West Virginia Leads Nation In Drug Overdose Deaths

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A staggering report was released just yesterday about the amount of fatal drug overdoses in West Virginia. According to the Trust for America's Help, West Virginia leads the nation in the rate of fatal drug overdoses, the majority of those being prescription drugs. That's six times higher than it was a decade ago.

"The fact that West Virginia is number one in the country, tells us that it's a major problem. The interesting thing about this study that just came out is that most of the deaths are occurring as the result of the abuse or overuse of pharmaceutical drugs. Prescription drugs are the number one killer of people with regard to drug overdose deaths", said U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld.

But  U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld has a plan. He said along with aggressive prosecution he believes it's important to educate the public, properly dispose of medication no longer needed and get more treatment facilities available to those addicted. Ihlenfeld said that this plan could really help West Virginia not only with crime, but the health of the community as well.

"What I don't think everybody realizes is that this is a major crime problem, but it's also a major health problem. We have so many people who not only are dying from these drugs but they're becoming addicted and it effects just about everyone", Ihlenfeld said.