According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Drug Overdose Database, heroin has claimed the lives of more than 600 West Virginians since 2001.
Many of that taking place right here in the Northern Panhandle in Brooke County, which ranked the 3rd highest in the state for number of heroin overdose deaths.
In an article recently published by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, it lists that 23 people have died from heroin overdoses since 2001. However, Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson says that number should be much higher– and there have been seven-to-eight deaths in the past four-to-five months.
“Until they in their mind put forth that effort that effort to kick the addiction, there’s nothing I can do to help them, there’s nothing you can do to help them, or their family,” says Sheriff Jackson.
“People don’t want to recognize that there is a problem. I know with Never Alone we are in need of members because we need an army to accomplish anything in regards to addiction,” says Patti Barnabei from Never Alone WV.
Sheriff Jackson says he believes that Brooke County‘s proximity to Pittsburgh and Steubenville is the reason why the numbers are so hard; as well as the lack of resources available to addicts. Never Alone WV is one of the few programs in Brooke County for drug addicts to utilize. Sheriff Jackson says that on the law enforcement side, there are very few options for addicts, which include drug court for those people who have been arrested.