WESTOVER, W.Va. (WBOY) — With drugs like fentanyl running wild across places like the Mountain State, some have taken a step to counter the so-called epidemic by making sure that the public is prepared in case they ever need to save someone’s life.
The Save a Life Day event was hosted on Sept. 14 in Monongalia County where free Narcan and Fentanyl test strips were given out to hundreds of people across Monongalia county. Despite only being two years old, the event has spread far and was held across 13 Appalachian states this year.
In a partnership between county health departments, quick response teams and organizations like West Virginia Sober Living, people were able to get training on how to administer Narcan.
Other resources given were as well including Rapid Response Fentanyl test strips, which allow people to test if the drugs they have on hand are safe and not laced with Fentanyl. HIV testing and resources were also given out in different locations as well as “gun safety locks,” which officials at the event said help combat suicide.
Brittany Irick, the Monongalia County Quick Response Coordinator explained the main symptoms to look out for in a potential overdose. “The main one is if someone is unconscious. You’re also looking for dilated pupils, blue around the mouth. If you were questioning if someone is breathing, and they look unresponsive, then they definitely might be experiencing overdose.”
Officials at the event said the most important thing to do when someone may be experiencing an overdose is to call 911 and then administer Narcan. They also said to remember that the Good Samaritan Law will apply to you if you were involved in the overdose but called for help, meaning you will be able to get criminal immunity when seeking help for a person who has overdosed.
Volunteers at the event told 12 News they believe everyone should be equipped with Narcan should they need it to help a loved one or someone they witness in trouble.
If you could not make it to the event, officials said that you can call your local county’s health department. For Monongalia County residents, if you need additional Narcan or Narcan training you can contact joseph.L.email@example.com or 304-225-0264. For Narcan training and additional resources, you can contact WV Peers at 304-602-3305.