In response to increasing incidents of opioid overdoses, the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources is distributing 8,000 kits with the lifesaving antidote naloxone to non-EMS first responders.
Announcing the initiative on Monday, State Health Officer & Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health Dr. Rahul Gupta said in a statement that it was an effort to saving more lives.
Dr. Gupta said in the statement, “It’s critical that we do everything we can in our power as a state and our partners out there in the communities and neighborhoods to be able to save their lives in order to help them get treated. Only if we can save a life can we get them in treatment and recovery and rehabilitation.”
He explained that the latest wave of distribution of the antidote kits will be to law enforcement officers, volunteers with fire departments, and people working with harm reduction programs and treatment & recovery programs.
EMS crews are already making use of the lifesaving antidote naloxone on a daily basis across the state.
Being operated by the DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health & Health Facilities and Bureau for Public Health, the distribution project has received $1.07 million through the federal Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.