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Officials say Obama’s environmental policies a factor in W.Va. drug abuse

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — During President Barack Obama’s visit to Charleston today, West Virginia officials said they’re hopeful the Commander in Chief will consider how federal environmental regulations have contributed to the socioeconomic challenges the state currently faces.

Obama is scheduled to arrive in Charleston today for a forum on the rise in substance abuse — especially heroin and prescription opioids — that in recent years has plagued the nation and West Virginia in particular.

But any discussion of the prevalence of substance abuse in West Virginia should also account for the state’s economic struggles, struggles driven in large part by a downturn in the state’s coal industry.

That’s according to U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who said she plans to raise these concerns during her time with the president in Charleston today.

“I’m hopeful that tomorrow afternoon, that the higher unemployment, the job loss, the lack of optimism about the future, all becomes part of the discussion in terms of drug use,” Capito said. “I think it’s part of the bigger picture that he needs to hear about…

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