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Putnam County Fights Back Against Drugs

Reported: Mar. 18, 2014 7:11 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 19, 2014 8:49 AM EDT

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WINFIELD, W.Va. (Chris Williams) -- "It is awful, awful. You don't want to quit once you start.”

That’s how former drug addict Connie Owens described being addicted to drugs.

Owens spent years hooked on drugs. She was able to overcome her addiction through prayer and hard work, but many aren't so lucky. The reality for all of us is drug abuse doesn't just affect the user. The Putnam County Sheriff said about 90 percent of crimes in the county are drug related.

"I think where Putnam County stems between Huntington and Charleston, so we're kind of like the corridor," said Putnam County Sheriff Steve Deweese.

To help kick drugs out of the county, a group called urgent call met today at the Putnam County Courthouse. The group is made up of law enforcement, county officials, and members of the church community. Their goal is to create awareness and educate the church about drugs, and help people recover from addiction.

"We also want to have a living free or celebrate recovery, which is a Christian based 12-step program," said Winfield Community Church Pastor Michael Hulbert.

They hope to have one of these programs in as many churches a possible, so one would be available every night of the week. Sheriff Deweese said by getting the whole community involved, they can outweigh the drug dealers, and Owens said that is a good first step.

"This right here, this education is a very good way to help people to see that they do need help. First they have to become aware that they have a problem, and that they need help,” Owens added.

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