West Virginia Official Says Drug Abuse on Rise Among Miners

Oct 20, 2015

The director of West Virginia's mine safety office says there is a growing substance abuse problem among miners.

Credit Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

Director Eugene White of the Office of Mine Health, Safety and Training told legislators on Monday that more than 800 miners have failed drug tests over the last three years, according to The Register-Herald.

This year, White said 214 mining certificates have been suspended because of drug abuse. He said prescription drugs are the most commonly detected substance, while marijuana is second.

While White said the number of substance abusers is a small percentage of all miners in the state, the statistics are still alarming.

Besides current miners, White said 165 people failed pre-employment drug and alcohol screening.