Sen. Joe Manchin addresses drug epidemic at town hall meeting

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BROOKE COUNTY, WV -- Prescription drug abuse was the center of a town hall meeting in Wellsburg Wednesday that was hosted by Senator Joe Manchin. Village leaders and residents learned ways to tackle this growing issue.

"We have an epidemic," said Sen. Manchin. "Prescription drug abuse is the number one killer in West Virginia."

"We need to get a handle and control it a little better," said Sue Simonetti, Mayor of Wellsburg. "It's a sad situation that we're in right now with the drugs."

Sen. Manchin said some doctors don't have the proper training, and are dispensing more prescription drugs than needed.

"I've got pharmaceutical companies making drugs we don't need. FDA's approving drugs that shouldn't be put on the market," added Sen. Manchin.

Beyond Tomorrow, Inc., a local drug awareness program, said Brooke County is one of the state's leading counties for drug-related deaths.

"Hearing him say I'm staying in DC to fight it with the drug corporation that aren't putting regulations to stop some is refreshing to know he's fighting the good fight," said LeAnne Moore, Beyond Tomorrow, Inc. member.

Sen. Manchin also said the way patients are being treated needs to change in order to see an improvement.

"We've treated drug addiction as a crime, not as an illness," said Sen. Manchin. "That's the mindset we have to change."

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