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drugs

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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