During a news conference inside of the Wetzel County Courthouse last week, Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught said there are many people in the community, the Northern Panhandle and the state that do not believe prescription pill use is a problem.
Contrary to that belief, illegal prescription pill use is indeed a problem, one approaching epidemic levels throughout our state.
Because they are easily accessible and are intended to be used to heal a person rather than harm them, prescription pills are deceptively dangerous. Those taking pills without a valid prescription often do so in large quantities as they become more and more addicted, in turn creating a lucrative business venture for the seller.
As addiction progresses, so does the level of seriousness of the drugs used. Haught said he has seen several heroin cases come across his desk where it appears the person began with a pill addiction before moving on to something stronger.
The problem is not unique to Wetzel County, however, as the Northern Panhandle has been designated as a high drug activity zone, with extra patrols and enforcement set forth to stop that activity.
This weekend, community members will have a chance to help curb prescription pill abuse, as several drug take back boxes will be set up around the state, including at the Middlebourne Fire Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. We encourage anyone with expired or unused pills to take advantage of the drop locations, as those unwanted pills could easily end up in the wrong hands and become a part of the ever-growing problem.