Drug horror

In 1998, only 21 West Virginians died of drug overdoses. In 2006, the body count was 460 – 22 times worse. Such horrifying data was found a couple of years ago when Gazette and West Virginia Public Radio reporters jointly dug through state and federal medical records.

The deadly upsurge stem-med mostly from a flood of painkiller pills such as OxyContin and methadone – dubbed “hillbilly heroin” – into southern Appalachian coalfields.

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