Medical couple: Drug problem influenced by combination of factors

August 10, 2014
by Jessica Farrish

Dr. Lindley, an obstetrician at AccessHealth and past chief of staff at RGH, and Kristin Lindley, who treats patients who have experienced trauma, said the drug abuse problem in the state is exacerbated by the growing number of pain clinics, physicians who administer painkillers instead of treating underlying problems such as physical illness or addiction, patients who believe they should never feel any pain and a subculture of patients who get painkillers to sell illegally or abuse.

West Virginia has the highest number of drug overdose deaths in the nation, according to a recent study published by the nonprofit group Trust for America’s Health. Cord blood samples of babies born at Raleigh General Hospital several years ago revealed that one in five newborns had been exposed to drugs prenatally.

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