There's A New War On Drugs At The Center Of America's Heroin Epidemic
Huntington, West Virginia, approaches addiction as a disease to be treated, not just a crime to be punished.By Zach Toombs | October 7, 2016
When the war on drugs failed, Huntington, West Virginia, was one of its casualties.
"Well, probably 60 percent or more of the DUIs are actually heroin and not alcohol," said Jan Rader, a deputy chief for the Huntington Fire Department.
Here's how serious the heroin epidemic is in Huntington. While the national overdose rate stands at 13 people in 100,000, West Virginia's rate is almost three times that, the highest of any state in the nation. This county's rate doubles that. And the rate for overdose rates in Huntington itself? About nine times the national average. On Aug. 15, the problem came to a head — 28 overdoses in four hours.