June 20, 2011

Manchin Applauds New Federal Aid to Help Mercer, Putnam Counties Fight Rampant Drug Abuse

Naming Mercer and Putnam counties “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas” will better coordinate resources to eliminate substance abuse.

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today applauded the Office of National Drug Control Policy for taking a move to help Mercer and Putnam counties in the fight against drug abuse that is plaguing West Virginia.

Putnam and Mercer counties have been designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs), which will enhance coordination and development of drug-control efforts among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

“This is a positive step forward in the fight against illegal drugs and drug abuse,” Senator Manchin said. “In order for West Virginia to stay strong, for our workforce to remain productive, and for our families and children to be protected, we have to eliminate the scourge of drug abuse that is causing so much destruction."


In April, Senator Manchin announced a commonsense, three-point plan to fight drug abuse nationwide. West Virginia has one of the nation’s highest rates of drug overdose deaths, and Senator Manchin pledged his support for legislation that would put a federal ban on deadly synthetic drugs being marketed as “bath salts” and “plant food,” and add them to the list of controlled substances. Senator Manchin has also announced plans to introduce new legislation in the Senate to crack down on so-called “pill mills,” where people can go to get powerful prescription drugs that they do not use for medical reasons.

Earlier this month, Senator Manchin urged the U.S. Attorney General and Drug Enforcement Agency to immediately shut down an anonymous online black market for drugs, including prescription drugs, cocaine, LSD and heroin. The illicit network, called Silk Road, allows users anywhere in the country to purchase illicit drugs using untraceable currency and have them shipped to their homes via the USPS.