Consumer Protection Hotline:
Senior Protection Hotline: 304-558-1155
Medicaid Fraud Hotline:

Prescription Drug Abuse

Many consumers believe that controlled substances are safe because they are prescribed by doctors rather than sold by drug dealers on the streets.  Unfortunately, prescription painkillers can be highly addictive and deadly.   The most common drugs involved in prescription overdose deaths include:

  • Hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin®),
  • Oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin®),
  • Oxymorphone (e.g., Opana®), and
  • Methadone (especially when prescribed for pain).

Additionally, prescription painkiller overdose deaths often involve benzodiazepines.  Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants used as sedatives, to induce sleep, prevent seizures, and relieve anxiety.  Examples include alprazolam (Xanax®), diazepam (Valium®), and lorazepam (Ativan®).

Regional Treatment Services

The West Virginia Attorney General's Office has developed regional lists of reputable substance abuse treatment services for easy access and distribution.

Drug Disposal

Reducing the supply of unwanted prescription drugs is critical, as the Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that nearly one-third of children 12 and over who use drugs for the first time, begin with a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose.

In November 2015, our office released a handout that educates consumers as to the proper storage and disposal of prescription medication:

Report a Problem

If you know of anyone who may be inappropriately prescribing or distributing prescription drugs, you can confidentially report this information to your local West Virginia State Police detachment or local county sheriff's office.  Your call may save a life.

West Virginia State Police

County Sheriffs' Offices

Medications can pose a risk for abuse or accidental poisoning.  Remember to call 911 immediately, and keep the American Association for Poison Control Center Hotline number near every telephone.

American Association for Poison Control Center Hotline: 1-800-222-1222