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Senator Manchin visits Ohio Valley to speak on drug problem

United States Senator Joe Manchin was in Marshall County on Friday talking about the drug problem across the Ohio Valley.

United States Senator Joe Manchin was in Marshall County on Friday talking about the drug problem across the Ohio Valley.

A town hall was held at the Unity Center in Benwood. The new location recently opened and helps around 500 people a year dealing with addiction.

Manchin says we, again, need to wage a war on drugs.

He said the issue shouldn't ever be political and lawmakers need to work together to battle the drug epidemic.

Manchin say the federal government can do more to tackle the opiate problem, which is killing millions of Americans each year.

He listened to many struggling with addiction and their needs and talked about how the what he calls a 'drug infestation" has hit West Virginia harder than other state. He says he wanted to talk to the people affected and those treating those people to find out what they need.

He said we need more resources, education and funding.

“We don't have the funding for all the treatment centers we need in West Virginia, and I have introduced a bill called 'life boat.' The manufacturers would pay one penny per milligram for every opiate they produce and sell and that one penny would generate about $2 billion a year at treatment centers, wherever needed, in America. I assure West Virginia would then have those centers then.”

Meanwhile, he addressed other topics ....

Vice President Mike Pence recently publicly criticized Manchin on twitter using the hash tag #joevotedno.

Manchin voted against republican-led efforts to repeal Obamacare, which did not pass, and the tax reform bill, which passed late last year.

Manchin called it “a shame that a person at his level has made the statements he has.”

"Then he makes a speech the president on Tuesday night how we have to work together and come together and Mr. Pence and chastises me because I don't want to throw 200,000 West Virginians off healthcare, and he says I am not for West Virginia. He doesn't even know West Virginia. If he wants to do that to his state OK, but not mine, and I didn't vote for that because we can fix it.”

Manchin has had a cordial relationship with President Donald Trump and was spotted frequently giving standing ovations to him Tuesday night during the State of the Union.

Manchin has decided to run for re-election in 2018. He made several stops in the Ohio Valley on Friday, including Wheeling Central.

There, he honored a trio of students entering military academies.

He also talked about being a good leader and taking education seriously.

Dozens of students and other community leaders gathered at the school in downtown Wheeling.

This week is also Catholic Schools Week. Manchin spoke about his faith to students.

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