by Kayla Lynch
The trafficking of illegal drugs has become a major issue in West Virginia, but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has developed a program to try and fight back against these traffickers. The DEA plans to establish an affiliation with community groups to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of heroin and prescription painkillers.
This program that the DEA has developed will cost around $500,000. It will target drug traffickers that supply opioids to Cabell, Kanawha and Putnam counties. According to wvgazettemail.com, Special Agent Karl Colder says that the DEA wants to try and eliminate the groups that bring heroin into the communities.
W.Va. has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation. According to cdc.gov, there were 725 deaths caused by overdoses in W.Va. in 2015. Of the 725, there were 78 deaths in Wood County alone.
Cabell, Kanawha and Putnam counties have been hit especially hard with the opioid epidemic. It is reported that the combined total of fatal overdoses in those three counties for 2015 was 214.
Wvgazettemail.com spoke to Cecilia Brown, who had a son who overdosed after suffering from a heroin addiction for seven years. She told reporters that she was happy that the DEA was finally taking action over this epidemic.
The DEA plans to have a meeting in May 2017 to talk about the prevention of drug abuse happening in W.Va. They will also be talking to doctors, pharmacists, drug wholesalers and manufacturers to reduce the traffic diversions of prescription drugs.