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Press Release

Spotlight will shine on heroin, fentanyl threat in West Virginia

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – The United States Attorney’s Office will help to shine a light on the threat posed by heroin, fentanyl and other opioids in West Virginia next week, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week, which will begin on Sunday in West Virginia, was established in order to educate the public about the dangers of these types of substances and to identify solutions to the drug crisis facing the United States.  There will be a special focus placed on fentanyl, which has emerged as one of the deadliest substances being distributed in the state and in the region.

Throughout the week, representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office will conduct interactive presentations and discussions with fifth grade students at twenty separate elementary schools in Northern West Virginia. The presentation will cover a variety of topics, including commonly abused drugs, the science behind addiction, the impact of drugs upon the brain, and the importance of recognizing and speaking up about the signs of substance abuse.

On Tuesday, United States Attorney Ihlenfeld will host a discussion at Fairmont State University with middle school and high school students and receive their input in the development of drug prevention strategies. An action plan will be developed based upon the ideas the students provide and then implemented in their schools.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will also present to student athletes at a university; meet with community leaders to discuss the opioid epidemic; and provide drug threat assessments to business leaders, hospitals, and churches.

Throughout National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week, please follow the United States Attorney’s Office Twitter account at @NDWVnews

Updated September 15, 2016