Naloxone, the drug that could counteract overdoses of heroin and other opiates, is being utilized by some emergency responders and groups in parts of West Virginia. Now, the state Department of Health and Human Resources got a federal grant to distribute naloxone to police departments, fire departments, and agencies in West Virginia area.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, state health officer and commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, mentioned “the drug epidemic is a fast moving target and we need to have an all hands-on deck approach.”
“This life-saving drug is something that when used in a timely manner can save lives,” he said in a phone interview. “Only when someone who overdoses gets to live can they enter treatment ...and ultimately be successful in entering the workforce.”
The center will come up with priority list based on risk level, which will be generated from the number and rate of overdose deaths in the county where a program is located.
More than 4,000 of the two-dose kits will be distributed in the next few weeks to high priority areas, including needle-exchange programs and police and fire departments in the cities of Huntington, Charleston, Wheeling and Morgantown and other urban and rural areas.