CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is joining the fight against the drug abuse problem in the Mountain State.
“I want to do everything within my power to ensure that the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is really stepping up to just address some of the voids in the system and looking at this issue from both a supply and a demand perspective,” said state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
In recent months, the fight against drug abuse in the state has been intensified. State agencies, local law enforcement agencies and even pharmacies that do business in the state have been increasing efforts in order to put a stop to the rising drug abuse problem in West Virginia.
Whether it’s Fruth Pharmacy unveiling a new medication product called Nexafed which makes it more difficult for drug users to cook meth or Kanawha County putting together the Meth/Prescription Drug Task Force, the fight is in full tilt to address the drug abuse problem.
The state Attorney General’s Office is now the most recent one to join the fight by creating its own internal task force to look at all aspects of the problem.
“We are reaching out to local county officials, to state officials, to national officials and to folks within the health care industry and patients to make sure were not just throwing resources or money at a problem, this has to be done in a very targeted manner,” said Morrisey.
This five member task force made up of former investigators, prosecutors and other people who have a professional background in the drug abuse arena will attempt to gather as much information about substance abuse as possible from all sides of the issue. It’s about gathering information and getting the full picture.
But in addition to gathering information about the problem, Morrisey’s office is also working to educate state citizens on the problem.
“We want to make sure that our consumer advocates and specialists are going out to schools, to different places and educating people about the pitfalls of substance abuse,” Morrisey said.
Morrisey notes that West Virginia has one of the highest prescription drug abuse overdose rates in the country and the meth numbers are not much better. He said all West Virginians are impacted.
“Whether you’re talking about meth, the prescription pill problem or heroin, this is something that affects every single county in the state and virtually every family in the state,” he said.
That’s why Morrisey’s office plans to work with other agencies in the state in a combined effort to combat this issue.
Morrisey hopes to release some sort of battle plan in the coming months once the task force is able to gather all the necessary information. Morrisey said this is only the beginning of their fight.
Morrisey’s office is also welcoming input on the issue from local citizens. Anyone wanting to be a part of the dialog can send an email with their ideas or contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.