President Barack Obama will take steps to improve doctor training and ease access to drug treatment as part of an effort to help communities battling the scourge of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse.

Drug user taking in heroin with syringe (Burlingham, ThinkStock)

A White House official says Obama will detail the moves Wednesday on a day trip to Charleston, West Virginia. Obama is due to meet with law enforcement officials, drug counselors and advocates at a community center.

West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the U.S. -- more than twice the national average. That's according to a report by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Nationally, the number of people who reported using heroin within the past year almost doubled from 2002 to 2013.

 

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)