- Associated Press - Thursday, August 3, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has organized another regional meeting with clergy in a faith-based initiative to involve more churches in dealing with drug abuse.

Morrisey says the second regional session is set for next Tuesday at South Ridge Church in Fairmont. The first meeting was held in Parkersburg in June. Additional meetings are planned in Charleston and Huntington.

West Virginia has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate, with 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015. State health officials say overdose deaths rose nearly 18 percent last year, killing 864 people.

The goal is to provide churches with information about addiction treatment and services, especially in areas where they are lacking, and connect them with police, first responders and treatment groups.


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