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Opioid Epidemic Takes Toll on State Pathologists

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, one of the aspects of the opioid epidemic we don’t often hear about is what happens to the bodies of those who become overtaken by addiction. This morning, Liz McCormick takes a look at one group under strain -- the state’s forensic pathologists who are charged with performing autopsies.

McCormick continues her reporting on the strain the opioid epidemic is putting on state and county infrastructure. When someone passes away unexpectedly, we don’t often realize the chain of events that happens behind the scenes to safely transport the remains. Add the increase in premature deaths from the opioid epidemic to this, and it gets more complicated.

About five or six years ago, Jefferson County emergency officials noticed an uptick in call volume for deceased persons, and as McCormick reports, it was an adjustment period for officials as they learned to navigate the issue in a new way.

Also on today’s show, the West Virginia Legislature voted Tuesday to give a $12 million tax cut to a struggling coal-fired power plant in Pleasants County. Emily Allen reports.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.