BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- As the opioid epidemic in West Virginia continues to grow, law enforcement and legislators are developing solutions to reduce overdoses.
“We need to target those dealers who are bringing drugs into the area because what we found is a lot of them aren’t just local dealers, but from out of state,” said Lonnie Christian, Chief of Beckley Police Department.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday morning proposed legislation outlining a five point strategy to curtail opioid abuse, including a three day limit for all initial opioid prescriptions.
“It’s time to stop the deadly epidemic now. There are a lot of good things people have been doing, but I’m tired of half measures. We need to do more,” said Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
One point the Attorney General made during the announcement is the importance of increasing law enforcement officers to stop the drugs from coming into our state.
Another important area addressed was a Medicaid abuse prevention component that would apply stricter standards to prescribing opioids covered by Medicaid.
“Seventy- one percent of the deaths occur for people that are on Medicaid. That’s terrible and we have to make sure that Medicaid is using some of the private sectors tools that are curbing abuse,” said Morrisey.
Many in West Virginia know someone who is suffering from this epidemic. In the words of the Attorney General, “We must put a stop to this crisis.”