HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says they are using predictive modeling to prepare for overdose number spikes.
This means when they see a spike in overdose numbers in nearby areas, they send out an alert. The first was through social media and lasted 36 hours.
During that timeframe, health officials, law enforcement, and volunteers are checking in on the individuals going through addiction recovery.
13 News went on a ride-along with the Huntington Quick Response Team (QRT) and saw firsthand the work they are doing to ensure an overdose does not occur, and if it does, that those nearby have the tools to revive them.
QRT Leader Larrecsa Cox says on a regular basis, they do check-ins with some of the people who have or are currently in addiction recovery. They also offer resources like naloxone.
Cox also says that these are courtesy visits to make contact with the people and let them know that help is available if they need it. In some cases, they respond to overdose calls over the scanner, offering their assistance when needed.
DHHR representatives say this latest alert service is designed to give family members, friends, and neighbors time to prepare if they need to use the tools that the quick response teams provide.
“We’re working hard to make sure that we know those overdoses are coming and that we push out more naloxone,” says DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch.
For access to treatment and recovery resources, the state is asking people to call 1-844-HELP-4-WV.