empty shells: For the past few years I have been documenting an issue that plagues my home state of West Virginia as well as a large portion of our country. Prescription drug abuse is hardly any secret, costing West Virginians over $430 million per year.
Based on the most recent data from the Center for Disease and Control, West Virginia is the nation’s medicated state filling 7 times more prescriptions per person annually than the U.S. average.
In 2006 Salon.com named Kermit, WV-a small mining community of 300, ”ground zero of the prescription drug epidemic, ” when 3.19 million dosage units of hydrocodone were filled a total that is ranked 22nd for the entire nation (an average US pharmacy dispenses 97,000 doses per year).
I am forever in debt to the brave individuals who have stepped forward to share their stories with me and my partners. As the months progress more stories will be presented.