RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY)— Our Nation continues to suffer from the growing addiction crisis caused by opioids. West Virginia remains the state with the highest number of overdose deaths per capita in the nation.
“People are getting addicted to the opioids, and what’s happening is they are taking it to the next level. They are taking more than what they need to. The opioids are internal and begin to shut down receptors,” said West Virginia State Police Beckley Trooper Joshua Kincaid.
According to West Virginia Health Department, statistics show that Raleigh County is ranked third in the state for the highest number of opioid overdoses.
Law Enforcement and Health Departments are trying to put a stop to the high number of overdoses by spreading awareness to the community.
Candy Hurd, a nurse, and Director at the Beckley-Raleigh Health Department discussed the opioid crisis,“A big concern for all of West Virginia. Certainly, Southern WV has some very high numbers. I think there were approximately 884 overdose deaths last year. So it’s a big concern and something that our community is looking at. We’re looking at ways to prevent deaths now providing Naloxone kits and training at this time.”
Plans for a statewide effort to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths will be submitted to the Governor by mid-January according to the Department of Health and Human Resources. In the meantime, our local law enforcement, health officials, and community treatment centers will continue to battle the opioid epidemic to save lives.