When I set out to produce my fellowship series on prescription drug abuse in West Virginia, I already knew some grim statistics. Residents here are more likely than those of any other state to die of a prescription overdose. Because of high rates of chronic disease and occupational injuries, people in West Virginia also fill more prescriptions per capita than anywhere else.
My project will explore how prescription drug abuse has changed West Virginia's communities and why it is such a hard problem to control. As a daily newspaper reporter, I've seen this issue from several angles and am excited to examine it in depth.