Sav-Rite Pharmacy operated as a pill mill in Kermit for years -- marketing Xanax, Lortabs and Vicodin -- until officers from the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration shut it down in February 2012, Nieves wrote.
War, a town in McDowell County, "is in the hottest hot zone of a lethal epidemic that has spread across America," wrote Vince Beiser in "Overdose County, USA," an April 2012 Playboy article.
Tom Hatcher, the mayor of War, told Beiser that his own son overdosed on prescription pills four times in recent years. "I think the reality is he will kill himself eventually. ... A lot of people say there is nothing we can do. But we can't stop trying."
During the past 10 years, nine out of 10 drug-related deaths in West Virginia were caused by overdoses from prescription drugs, especially opoid painkillers, Rockefeller noted.
In December, the Drug Enforcement Administration created a permanent prescription drug disposal plan to help prevent abuse. The new rule requires DEA agents to "enforce a safe and lawful disposal method for prescription drugs."
Rockefeller has also sent many letters about prescription drug abuse to an array of agencies and individuals, including West Virginia health care providers, schools and pharmacists, as well as to national health-care associations.
He urges all these groups to make sure all people and businesses prescribing pharmaceuticals get training about controlled substances.
Rockefeller was an original co-sponsor of a Senate resolution that named October as "National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month."
He also introduced the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to send more federal money to states to help create prescription drug monitoring programs to stop "doctor shopping" and drug trafficking across state lines.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.