Heroin replacing prescription pill abuse in Southern WV - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Heroin replacing prescription pill abuse in Southern WV

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BLUEFIELD (WVVA) -

Illegal prescription drugs are also a major problem in Southern West Virginia.

The Bluefield Pill Initiative was started to make a dent in the problem.  Authorities say users are now moving from prescription pills to another illegal drug.

More than 60 suspects have been prosecuted in connection with the Bluefield pill initiative started by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

He was in Bluefield in June to announce 16 individuals named in a 51 count indictment.

Goodwin says the initiative is working to get pill dealers off the street, and the community getting involved is playing a major part in the success.

On the other hand, Goodwin says he is seeing a move towards heroin in Southern West Virginia which he points out is not a positive development.

"It shows us that we are making a real impact on the pill supply. When we make an impact on the pill supply, then kids are not very likely to start using heroin right off the bat. They have to go through that gateway like marijuana, prescription drugs and move on to heroin," says Goodwin.

Goodwin says 70% of illegal pills come from the medicine cabinets of friends and family.

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