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Lack of state help frustrates McDowell sheriff

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — McDowell County was not included in a grant related to substance abuse treatment announced by the Governor on Wednesday, and that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for Sheriff Martin West.

“The county leads the state in the number of prescription overdose deaths,” he said Thursday, adding that he called Charleston to try to get some answers.

“I called the Governor’s office and was told we have to have the infrastructure (to accommodate the programs involved in the grant),” he said, adding that’s hard to have the infrastructure with no assistance from the state and a local economy that has been on the decline for many years.

But he said this incident is one of a long string of failed attempts to get help from Charleston.

“Things are consistently getting worse here,” he said. “We have no tax base, no four-lane highway, no jobs, the schools are cutting off people, Wal-mart left. We lead the state in overdoses and suicides. We lead in everything that is wrong, and no one is listening…

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