New DEA Program Targets West Virginia Opioid Traffickers

CHARLESTON– The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will spend $500,000 on a program that aims to curb prescription drug and heroin abuse across the state.

DEA special Agent Karl Colder tells the Charleston Gazette-Mail the project, announced Wednesday, targets drug traffickers who supply opioids to Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties.

Colder says West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation. Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic – on one day in August, 26 people in Huntington overdosed on heroin during a five-hour span.

The DEA also wants to reduce the diversion of prescription drugs by having discussions with doctors, pharmacists, drug wholesalers and manufacturers. Furthermore, the agency plans to raise awareness in the area about the dangers of opioids.

Sponsored Content
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at