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West Virginia Police And Addiction Experts Work Together To Fight Heroin

Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Obama visits West Virginia today, the state with the most heroin overdose deaths, to call for adequate training for doctors who prescribe the opioid pain medication, which can be addictive, and also to call for improved access to medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

In the Charleston area, local police and drug treatment experts have worked together for the past year to divert 39 low-level, non-violent drug offenders to treatment rather than prison, in a new partnership program there called LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion).

Dana Petroff, is the coordinator of LEAD and director of addiction services at Prestera Center in West Virginia. He speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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