Study suggests more naloxone needed, Charleston group hoping to help

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — The overdose-reversing drug naloxone saves lives, but only if it’s readily available when an overdose occurs. And according to the CDC, too little naloxone is being dispensed in many areas of the country that need it the most.

Naloxone has been used for many years by emergency medical services, first responders, and community-based overdose prevention programs.

“It is clear from the data that there is still much-needed education around the important role naloxone plays in reducing overdose deaths. The time is now to ensure all individuals who are prescribed high-dose opioids also receive naloxone as a potential life-saving intervention,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.

Many recent efforts have focused on expanding access to naloxone through prescribing and pharmacy-based distribution. According to the CDC, last year rural counties had the lowest dispensing rates.

But a recovery group here in Charleston is hoping to help. SOAR stands for Solution-Oriented Addiction Response. The group was established a few years ago as a way to combat the fight against opioids.

For the last few months the group has been working to get Naloxone more readily available throughout the community, by providing free Naloxone kits and training to local business owners throughout the state.

“Every time someone puts a sticker up, it says let them live,” said SOAR’s Joe Solomon.

Solomon says more than 30 businesses already have participated in the training, but they are hoping more will join. Those interested in learning more should reach out to SOAR through the group’s Facebook page.

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