Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia AGs Attend Drug Conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – Attorneys general from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia led a conference of health care professionals, faith-based groups and others aimed at eliminating substance abuse in their communities on Thursday in Huntington, West Virginia.

Democrat Andy Beshear of Kentucky and Republicans Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia and Mike DeWine of Ohio attended the conference.

West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States – more than twice the national average, with Huntington considered the state’s epicenter for substance abuse.   Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana communities have also seen recent spikes in overdoses.

The meeting focused on stopping the spread of opioids, and provided an avenue to help attendees collaborate and share data, to support Good Samaritan laws and to assist those affected by drug addiction.

The attorneys general provided information on the trends being observed in each state, and identified ways to partner to address the crisis.

Beshear said drug abuse is the single greatest threat to job growth and to a better life for Kentucky, adding that drug treatment is an important part of the fight against addiction.

“Today we mark the start of a new collaboration aimed at combating the heroin epidemic plaguing the Tri-State region,” Beshear said. “The opioid scourge is not partisan and it is not confined to any state border. I am proud to partner with Attorneys General DeWine and Morrisey to share our resources and ideas to better protect our families and communities from this devastating epidemic.”

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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