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Heroin rises in Northern W.Va. following crackdown on prescription painkiller operations


WHEELING, West Virginia — A crackdown by the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force has reduced illegal prescription painkiller operations in Northern West Virginia.

Now authorities are dealing with a new drug problem — heroin.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register ( ) that heroin supply and demand is increasing for several reasons.

He says drug cartels are shifting from marijuana to heroin production because heroin is more profitable. Demand on the street is increasing because heroin is cheaper than illegal prescription drugs.

Ihlenfeld established a working group last summer to develop a plan to combat heroin in the Ohio Valley. Efforts so far include raising awareness through media interviews with addicts, their families and addiction professionals.

Information from: The Intelligencer,

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