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Drug Task Force

Word came last Friday that a special task force will be appointed by acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to “deal with tackling substance abuse” in West Virginia.

A group of lawmakers and other elected officials in southern West Virginia, spearheaded by Sen. Richard Browning, D-Wyoming, Delegate Mike Hall, D-Wyoming, and former House of Delegates majority leader and current Wyoming County Prosecuting Attorney Rick Staton, had been clamoring for action.

We’re behind the efforts of Browning, Hall and Staton. They are witnessing first hand how drug abuse is ripping away at our society. Wyoming County can be widely considered as ground zero when it comes to this problem, although the trouble has seeped into every single community no matter how small or large.

Staton says drug-related deaths average about “two a week” in a county that has a little more than 23,000 residents.

“It’s something that we cannot get a grip on unless everybody is at the table, willing to give and get something to stop people from dying,” Staton told our Mannix Porterfield. “It has infiltrated every home.”

These aren’t scare tactics, folks; this is real life and death.

Tomblin said he wants to make certain the special task force is structured in a way so current efforts aren’t duplicated.

That’s a good idea; however, the problem is growing, drug addiction is out of control and more must be done to fight back.

The duties of this panel should have the highest of priorities, and the work they will undertake is an assignment that encompasses an overabundance of wide-ranging elements.

It’s certainly a daunting charge.

Oftentimes, task forces are appointed and the results are mixed. West Virginia can’t afford for the results of this group’s work to be anything but top of the line in this battle against such a deadly and destructive epidemic.

From the Register Herald - Tuesday, May 31, 2011  

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