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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Jan. 24, 2013                   

U.S. ATTORNEY AND METRO DRUG UNIT COMMANDER VISIT LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS TO DISCUSS THE EFFECTS OF ILLEGAL DRUG USE

HAMLIN, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin and Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) Commander Chad Napier today met with faculty and students from Duval Middle School and Lincoln County High School in Hamlin, Lincoln County, W.Va. to talk about the dangers and consequences of illegal drug use. The school visits provided law enforcement officials with the opportunity to talk one-on-one with students and faculty about the consequences associated with the region’s prescription drug abuse epidemic. 

Prescription drug abuse is one of the leading sources of crime in the Southern District of West Virginia.  
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said, “"Education and awareness are the most essential tools that we have in our toolbox."

Goodwin stated that reaching young people as early as possible is one of the most important ways to turn the tide against our state's prescription drug epidemic.

"The Metro Drug Unit saw a five-fold increase in illegal heroin seizure's in a year's time.” Goodwin continued, “That staggering statistic alone illustrates the battle that we are facing with opiate-based drugs.  It is critical that students understand how incredibly addictive these substances can be if they head down the destructive path of drug abuse."

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2,500 youth (age 12 to 17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the very first time every day.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy research also found that the vast majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from friends or relatives. 
MDENT Commander Lt. Chad Napier stated that Lincoln County has been particularly hard-hit by the prescription drug crisis. 

Lt. Napier said, "We are losing an entire generation to prescription drug abuse.  If today's presentation reached just one student, then it was well worth the effort."

In November 2012, Goodwin and Napier also visited schools in Boone County as part of an ongoing awareness initiative led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District to educate faculty and students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.  Goodwin and Napier have also previously visited several schools in Jackson County as part of the awareness effort. 

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