U.S. Attorney’s Office teams up with law enforcement and other community partners to recognize overdose victims

WHEELING — The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with law enforcement and others in the community in the Northern District of West Virginia to recognize overdose victims as a part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. 

West Virginia remains #1 in overdose deaths per capita in the United States, according to data collected from the Centers of Disease Control. In the 32 counties in the Northern District of West Virginia, an average of 300 people die each year of drug overdoses.

“Substance abuse disorder is rampant in our district and across the state, and in the past year, has been compounded by the pandemic and the isolation, job loss, and uncertainty that came with it. The victims of drug overdoses are someone’s loved ones. We want to recognize these tremendous losses as we continue to work to get these illegal substances off the streets,” said Randolph J. Bernard, Acting U.S. Attorney, Northern District of West Virginia. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will be placing purple flags, one for each death in the NDWV, in several locations across the District to recognize the hundreds of sons, daughters, parents, grandchildren, and friends who lost their lives last year because of illegal drug sales. 

Flags will be placed with our partners in:

  • Wheeling – at Wheeling’s Heritage Port, in partnership with the City of Wheeling
  • Martinsburg – at the Martinsburg Police Department in partnership with Martinsburg Police
  • Bridgeport – at the Bridgeport Police Department in partnership with the Bridgeport Police
  • Elkins – at the Elkins City Building in partnership with the City of Elkins
  • Morgantown – at the Monongalia County Health Department in partnership with the Monongalia County Quick Response Team

The week, which is celebrating its 40th year this year, begins April 18 and runs through April 24, 2021. The theme is “Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities.” For more information on the week, go to https://ovc.ojp.gov/program/national-crime-victims-rights-week/overview.