Prescription Drugs Are Linked To West Virginia's Heroin Epidemic
When pill mills shut down in West Virginia, people went elsewhere to feed their drug addictions.By Zach Toombs | October 7, 2016
We just left Huntington, West Virginia. It has an overdose death rate from heroin nine times the national average.
West Virginia, of course, is historically a very blue-collar state. It lost a lot of jobs with the collapse of the coal industry. In the past 20 years, people in those blue-collar jobs — like those working in coal mines or steel mines — have been put on prescription medication when they've gotten hurt. These days, the majority of heroin addicts in Huntington started with prescription medication and moved on to heroin or to harder drugs.