"Hillbilly heroin: the painkiller abuse wrecking lives in West Virginia." This was the headline that recently appeared in a London (as in England) newspaper. What West Virginia is becoming known for around the country and around the world, not for our magnificent parks, rivers and mountains, but our state's addiction to OxyContin.
This reputation weakens our economy and scares off potential new businesses and employers. The actual harm caused by the illicit sale of this drug ruins lives, wrecks families and destroys communities.
It is time not just for West Virginia law enforcement to take a stand but for all West Virginians to take action to drive these drug dealers out of our neighborhoods.
The residents of the Ohio Valley who traffic these narcotics are the lowest of the low. They are responsible, in part, for the increased crime rate, higher unemployment and rise in the poverty level. The families who harbor these drug dealers are complicit in their crimes. These families should know and be made to realize they are profiting off the misery of others. It is not sufficient for the rest of us to smile at these people in public but talk about them behind their backs. They have to be made outcasts in their communities or nothing will ever change. If average citizens do not take control of their neighborhoods, this drug epidemic will be in every school, work site and athletic field.
Recent arrests by the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force bring home that these OxyContin drug traffickers are our neighbors and live in every community in the Ohio Valley. These drug dealers are not strangers, but people we see every day. Our silence about their activities is part of their business plan. It is time to be silent no more.
The Ohio Valley Drug Task Force is one of the shining lights of the valley. Their hard work, commitment and results have exposed a network of drug trafficking in our community. It is time for all of us to show a commitment to protecting our neighborhoods, homes and families from these worthless individuals and those who profit from illegal drug activity.