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Bell County in southeastern Kentucky currently has the eighth worst prescription drug death rate in the nation. Victims are citizens of every economic level, and the effects are hurting innocent people.

This story is part of a series that examines prescription drug abuse in Kentucky.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

Requiring a prescription for certain cold medicines could dramatically reduce methamphetamine production in West Virginia, a national substance-abuse expert told state lawmakers.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

Prescription drug abuse is growing nationwide, but West Virginia was one of the first places hit by the problem. When I picked this topic, I didn't realize how complex it was. The drugs are widely available. Doctors are struggling to treat pain with effective medications without supplying drug abusers. And prescription drug crimes have proven difficult to prosecute.

This is the third in a four-part series examining prescription drug abuse in West Virginia.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

Prescription drug abuse is growing nationwide, but West Virginia was one of the first places hit by the problem. When I picked this topic, I didn't realize how complex it was. The drugs are widely available. Doctors are struggling to treat pain with effective medications without supplying drug abusers. And prescription drug crimes have proven difficult to prosecute.

This is the first in a four-part series examining prescription drug abuse in West Virginia.

Picture of April Dembosky

Advocates believe gang violence is often fueled by unresolved mental and emotional health issues among youth. April Dembosky explores the effects of violence on young people in Oakland and sheds light on what local organizations and charities are doing to reach out and help them cope with their grief.

Picture of Megan Chao

An estimated 22.2 million persons aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse problems in the United States, representing 8.9 percent of that age group, according to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Of these, 3.1 million had problems with both alcohol and illicit drugs, 3.9 million had problems with drugs, and 15.2 million were dependent on alcohol.

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