- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A faith-based initiative to involve more churches in dealing with drug abuse has focused its attention on southern West Virginia.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says in a news release that the latest session Tuesday was held at Calvary Assembly of God in Beckley.

Earlier meetings were held in Fairmont, Parkersburg, Martinsburg and Wheeling.

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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