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Morrisey tours St. Joseph’s Recovery Center

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey tours the St. Joseph’s Recovery Center on Wednesday, along with discussing the opioid drug problem. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia attorney general talked about many of the challenges the state is facing in dealing with the opioid epidemic during a visit to Parkersburg.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey visited the St. Joseph’s Recovery Center on Wednesday to tour the facility and to sit down with 25 local drug treatment officials and community leaders to discuss what is being seen around this area in terms of the opioid drug problem and what can be better done to facilitate treatment for people as well as other related topics.

“One of the things I want to do is listen,” Morrisey told those assembled. “Everyday we are working on fighting the substance abuse epidemic in West Virginia. It is the number-one issue in our office. I think it is the top challenge in our state. We not only have to work hard, but work smart.”

West Virginia is “ground zero” in the opioid epidemic affecting the country, he said.

“Our goal is to attack the problem holistically from a supply, a demand and an education perspective,” Morrisey said. “That captures a lot of what everyone in this room is working on. Everyone has to contribute to the solution,” Morrisey said.

Delegate Tom Azinger, R-Wood, said the drug problem involves demand and some people will pay anything to get the drug and there will always be someone to supply it.

“We really need to attack the demand,” Azinger said.

He said children need to be educated at a young age about the dangers of drug abuse, including pictures that show the cost drug abuse has on people.

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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