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WVPB's continuing coverage of the opioid crisis affecting West Virginia.Deaths related to opioid abuse have more than doubled in the past decade as millions of prescriptions flooded the state. Treatment programs have been overwhelmed as families struggle to cope with the fallout of addiction. These are the stories of West Virginians impacted by the opioid epidemic, and the struggle to combat the crisis.Across Appalachia, Thousands of Children are Affected by Opioid Addiction: Who’s Helping Them?West Virginia Sees Increase in 'Family' Sex Trafficking Related to Opioid EpidemicOpioid Epidemic Putting Thousands More in Foster Care

Opioid Recovery in Appalachia's Ground Zero

Tony Wagner
American Public Media
Welcome to Wise County, Virginia

For this episode, Trey speaks with Caitlin Esch, a reporter for The Uncertain Hour podcast, which is produced from the Wealth and Poverty Desk at APM’s Marketplace.  They’ve produced a series that examines the history of the so-called “War on Drugs.”

Within this series, Caitlin shines a light on the opioid crisis playing out in Appalachia -- “ground zero” for the nation’s current addiction problems. Several years ago, Caitlin was in Wise County, Virginia reporting about the problem with “pill mills” and the over prescribing of pain medications like Lortab, Vicodin and Oxycontin.  For this series, she returns to follow up with people she previously met and to see how this epidemic has shaped the outcomes of generations of people now.

The people of Wise County tell how these addictions take apart lives, families, companies and communities. However, Caitlin has also found some interesting approaches for helping the community recover.


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