Experts weigh in on the opioid crisis

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) -- A public forum was held on Dec. 4 at University High School in Morgantown, hosted by Congressman David McKinley on ways to fight the opioid crisis in the Mountain State.

A panel that included from local doctors, to a drug czar and a special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), poke to dozens on how West Virginia is being affected by the drug.

Agencies like the DEA say they're training and educating law enforcement and other departments on how to handle overdoses.

"We started what we call DEA 360 initiative, which is an approach to combating this opioid problem, from treatment, prevention and education and law enforcement," said Karl Colder, Special Agent in Charge: DC, VA, MD and WV; Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to the panelists, other ways that they're working to combat the opioid crisis is by researching ways on how to help those under the addiction and getting them to treatment.

"We're building a profile of all 882 people that died in West Virginia last year," said Jim Johnson, West Virginia Drug Czar. "To see what we're missing and how we can prevent these deaths and that's going to provide us a roadmap as to how to get people into treatment."
Panelists say they're also working with communities.