The Centers for Disease Control has ranked West Virginia as second highest on a list of prescription drug overdoses in the nation. The Mountain State is just behind New Mexico.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District, William Ilhenfeld, II, says prescription pill trafficking is the number one problem facing law enforcement in the Northern Panhandle because of the crimes that stem from the illegal sale of painkillers.
He said people are using pills for non-medical purposes, although there are some legitimate reasons to have them for some people.
Part of the blame lies with doctors who over prescribe, pharmacists and states like Florida that make it easy for pills to be obtained and then brought back, Ilhenfeld added.
This also leads to a crime problem, he added. West Virginia is now considered a source state for these pills. Per 10,000 people, Ilhenfeld said West Virginia has the highest rate of pills being prescribed.
Ilhenfeld claims law enforcement on the federal and local level is uniting to fight this trend. However, he doesn't feel it's close to reaching the peak of being a problem.