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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.

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This is one in a series of articles, running the 5 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's, examining the relationship between housing loss and death in San Francisco.

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An article published yesterday by the prestigious journal The Lancet claims that alcohol is the most harmful drug of all, including crack cocaine and heroin.

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