A Chapmanville man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegal distribution of a drug illustrates the challenge of dealing with addiction.
Appearing in federal court in Charleston, the man admitted to distributing oxymorphone. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver told him his behavior is a problem.
For one thing, on the very day he knew he had to be in court, the man tested positive for Valium, for which he does not have a prescription. Then there is the matter of his failure to complete a drug treatment program. It was supposed to last nine to 12 months, but he left it after 25 days.
Drug addiction has been a problem for him for many years, dating back at least to 2003.
Law enforcement officials are well aware of people like him. They see them all the time in drug cases.
But this man, Carl Tomblin, 50, happens to be Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's brother.
And that is another lesson about drug addiction: No one is immune.
Copenhaver will not give Tomblin any special treatment. "There will be no fooling around with you," the judge warned.
Let's hope the governor's brother can turn his life around this time. But the odds are against him - as they are against thousands of other addicted West Virginians.