KEYSER - The Mineral County Commission signed a resolution Tuesday declaring the county to be in a health hazard state of emergency due to the ongoing opioid epidemic and related problems.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - The Mineral County Commission signed a resolution Tuesday declaring the county to be in a health hazard state of emergency due to the ongoing opioid epidemic and related problems.
The resolution stated the commission would “ take all appropriate and necessary actions to abate this public nuisance, including, but not limited to, instituting legal action against all responsible parties.”
Letitia Chafin, managing partner with the Charleston area Chafin Law Firm, met with the commissioners in an executive session to explain how to take steps to combat the opioid problem with action against pharmaceuticals companies shipping opioids into the state.
Prior to the meeting, and in speaking to Chafin, she gave the facts concerning the small West Virginia town of Kermit, population of 400, where over a two-year period, nine million hydrocodone pills were delivered to the community.
Commissioner Richard Lechliter mentioned that the action taken by the county government group will be at “no cost to the county.”
He said that 54 state counties have joined to be part of the legal suit.
Part of the resolution is to show that the county “recognizes that 10.75 million opioid derived pills were distributed in Mineral County during the years 2006 to 2014.”
Even though through the efforts of community-based treatment and recovery service, “This opioid epidemic has become a public nuisance in Mineral county affecting the public health and safety,” of the citizens.
The signed resolution also says that the local law enforcement and emergency medical services are involved with time and resources by responding to and the investigation part of the abuse of opioids and their related crimes.
The resolution also gave information that due to the drug epidemic, grandparents are now raising their grandchildren, and,” employers are unable to hire responsible workers.”
According to the signed document, the Mineral County Commission “believes legal action is necessary against the parties fostering and profiting from the gross abuse of opioids.”