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Drug Issues in Morgan County

Heroin related deaths are up in 2012 when compared to 2011 in Morgan County and law enforcement agencies are reporting an over all increase in opiate use.

MORGAN COUNTY, WV-There are more and more reports of heroine use all over the four state region, that includes the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia where officials are also reporting an increase in heroin-related deaths.

Heroin related deaths are up in 2012 when compared to 2011 in Morgan County and law enforcement agencies are reporting an over all increase in opiate use.  Sheriff Vince Shambaugh says it's seem like everyone in the county is in one way connected to the problem.

"It's hard to find a family in this county, that doesn't have a family member or friend whose got a problem with either pills or heroin.  It's a shame, that's how bad, it's become it's an epidemic," says Vince Shambaugh of Morgan County Sheriff's Office.

Shambaugh says the problem is mostly teenagers and young adults.  He says a lot of them are now using Oxycontin, Percoset, and other Opiates.  He says many of those users end up transitioning to heroin since it's cheaper and often deadly.  The sheriff says there are many factors involved.

"I pointed out recession, different things of our nature, peer pressure, who you hang out with a lot of times are easy to blame.  how you got started?  The opiates are so addictive, that once they try it a lot of times they are hooked," says Vince Shambaugh of Morgan County Sheriff's Office.

With the issues arising in the area, the sheriff's office is teaming with Morgan County Partnership, a non-profit organization that educates the dangers of illegal drugs.  Megan Scott, the director says substance abuse prevention specialists will be going to schools, community meetings and events, to inform residents and parents of the different opiates circulating in the area.  

"Morgan County kids are experimenting around anywhere between 11 and 13 years old.  The problem with that is that kids that start using before the age of 15 are four to five times more likely to have an addiction or a dependency to drugs and alcohol as an adult," says Megan Scott of Morgan County Partnership.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office is also providing take home drug tests, so residents can test certain people for using illegal drugs.   


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