Proposed W.Va. Bill Looks To Study Prescription Drug Abuse

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A proposal to set up a special team to study prescription drug overdoses is working its way through the West Virginia Senate.

The bill was approved unanimously by the Government Organization Committee on Tuesday.

It would establish a team of public health officials, law enforcement officers, doctors, nurses, counselors and pharmacists that would study every prescription drug overdose death in the state.

The group would have access to medical records but could not call witnesses or contact family members. No findings would be admissible in court.

They would look for trends and patterns with the hopes of better informing future legislation.

West Virginia has the country's second highest rate of prescription drug deaths. McDowell County has only 22,000 residents and is averaging 12 deaths per month from prescription drug overdoses.