Free Naloxone Day observed in 11 West Virginia counties

West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Eleven counties across the Mountain State participated in Free Naloxone Day, including Addie Barber.

“I usually snooze my alarm for like an hour, and then today I, like, woke up, like, ready to go. I was super excited today,” said Barber.

A flyer on the table at a Marion County station tells the signs of overdose

She, like many volunteers across the state, participated in helping to distribute Naloxone in Marion County.

“Today, we’re just trying to spread awareness,” said Barber. “You know, the opioid epidemic is not getting any better, especially during COVID. So, we’re out here, you know, trying to help somebody one box at a time.”

Naloxone, or Narcan, is the drug used to reverse drug overdoses. Some of the volunteers around the state know how Narcan can help, including Cassidy Thompson.

Naxolone, or Narcan, in boxes

“I have been revived with Naloxone four times. I think both of my colleagues here in recovery have also been revived with Naloxone,” said Thompson, the leader of the Harrison County Naloxone stations.

Some wish they would have had it in certain situations.

“I’m an addict in recovery myself. I know a lot of people that Narcan has saved, and I do also know a lot of people that are no longer here and maybe would still be here if someone they knew had a box of Narcan with them,” said Barber.

A volunteer shows how the Naxolone packages come inside the box

Losing people to overdose in West Virginia is not uncommon. According to the DHHR, 1,275 people lost their life to drug overdose in the Mountain State in 2020, with Harrison County being near the top.

“So, we’re offering that education not only to people who might be using drugs, but to moms, grandmothers, friends, people in the community that might care enough to carry Naloxone,” said Thompson.

“At the end of the day, you know, whether people agree with it or not, people are dying. We’re just trying to save someone’s son, someone’s daughter. You just never know when it can happen close to home,” said Barber.

Free Naloxone Day will be held in Boone County on Sept. 9, and Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming counties on Sept. 15.

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