BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Over the last few weeks, we reported several missing persons cases and the investigations by law enforcement into those cases.

Regardless of why and how these people go missing, the number of cases continues to increase.

According to Lt. Jason McDaniel with the Beckley Police Department, in most cases, a common reason for people going missing is a difficult issue which has proven tough to fix.

“Its all of law enforcement, across the state, the region, the nation,” said McDaniel. “Everyone is seeing an increase in missing persons, missing adults, missing juveniles. All law enforcement is seeing it. A lot of it is due to the rapid drug use that we are seeing now.”

This is why McDaniel says its important to always stay vigilant.

He says law enforcement often finds missing persons in jail or in hospitals.

“Its just generally be aware and try to find them before you contact law enforcement cause we have to put our resources into them to where as if you know their family, things of that natural, contact them, ask them where they are at,” said McDaniel. “Don’t just put it on law enforcement if you have the means to try and find someone that’s just missing when a law hasn’t been broken.”

Currently, over 20 people are missing in Southern West Virginia and close to one hundred and twenty are missing in the Mountain State, according to the National Missing Persons Database.