West Virginia Drug Situation   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Drug abuse and trafficking, particularly of opioids, is a critical threat to West Virginia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there was a statistically significant increase (16.9 percent) in drug overdose deaths in West Virginia between 2014 and 2015. The state had the highest rate of overdose deaths in the country in 2015, approximately 42 for every 100,000 people; CDC data indicate that 725 people died of drug overdoses in West Virginia in 2015, more than double the number who died from car accidents. The illegal distribution of controlled prescription drugs (CPDs), heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine pose the greatest threats to West Virginia, though cocaine, crack, marijuana, and new psychoactive substances (NPSs) such as synthetic cannabinoids are also available. CPD abuse and trafficking has long been the leading drug problem in West Virginia and is still responsible for the majority of overdose deaths in the state. However, heroin and fentanyl abuse is rapidly expanding and surpassing CPDs as the greatest threat in some parts of the state. Mexico-sourced crystal methamphetamine is increasingly available as well, pushing into a market previously dominated by locally manufactured powder methamphetamine. Crack and cocaine availability and abuse have declined somewhat since 2010, while the marijuana and NPS markets remain stable. Pressure on retail stores to cease selling unregulated (and usually illegal) products helps to limit the availability of NPSs, but the periodic emergence of stronger or more potent strains often causes spikes in emergency room admissions and overdoses."

Report Number:
DEA-WAS-DIR-024-17; Drug Enforcement Administration Washington Division Intelligence Report 024-17
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Drug Enforcement Administration: https://www.dea.gov/
Media Type:
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