Report: DEA records show West Virginia flooded with drugs

Published: Dec. 20, 2016 at 2:25 PM EST
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West Virginia's leading newspaper has obtained previously confidential Drug Enforcement Administration records that put numbers on the state's epidemic of overdoses.

It shows wholesalers shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills in just six years as 1,728 people fatally overdosed on these two painkillers.

That amounts to 433 pills for every man, woman and child in the state, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, which published part two of its investigation Monday.

The records — which leading drug wholesalers had fought in court to keep secret — show the wholesalers shipped ever-higher doses of the pills — a telltale sign of growing addictions — even as the death toll climbed.