In this MSNBC town hall event from 13 Mar 2017, Bernie Sanders visits West Virginia coal mining country to talk with local residents about their hopes and concerns.

Excessive use of prescription opioids is concern for many. As an example, three big U.S. pharmaceutical companies have been selling 4.1 million opioid pills per year into the town of Kermit, West Virginia, with a population of only 400 people. The small town pharmacy was making 500,000 per month. Doctors were overprescribing opioids to local residents.

Due to closed coal mines there was high unemployment. Residents were promised new jobs would be created with the construction of a new prison in the area.

Instead, the drug addicted unemployed people were not able to pass the drug test to work at the prison. So, prison workers are being bussed in and taking those jobs instead. Local residents are being arrested on opioid addiction drug charges and put into the new prison.

So, the outcome wasn’t quite what was promised and envisioned by the local people. Watch from 24:40 in this video to learn more about the opioid problem, or watch from the beginning to hear the broader discussion.

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