U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and law enforcement officials visited students in Lincoln County to talk about the consequences of prescription drug abuse.
U.S. Attorney Goodwin teamed up with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) Commander Chad Napier at Duval Middle School and Lincoln County High School in Hamlin.
They spoke one-on-one with students and faculty about one of the biggest sources of crime in southern West Virginia.
"Education and awareness are the most essential tools that we have in our toolbox,"
said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin in a press release. "The Metro Drug Unit saw a five-fold increase in illegal heroin seizure's in a year's time. That staggering statistic alone illustrates the battle that we are facing with opiate-based drugs. It is critical that students understand how incredibly addictive these substances can be if they head down the destructive path of drug abuse."
Approximately 2,500 adolescents (ages 12 to 17) abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time every day, according to the Office of national Drug Control Policy. Research also shows that most teens obtain prescription drugs from friends or family.
MDENT Commander Lt. Chad Napier stated that Lincoln County has been particularly impacted by the prescription drug epidemic.
"We are losing an entire generation to prescription drug abuse," Lt. Napier stated in a release." If today's presentation reached just one student, then it was well worth the effort."