LOGAN, WV (WOWK) – Logan County is tackling the drug epidemic by helping people find the resources they need to get into recovery.
Just since January 1 there have been 154 overdoses in the county.
In 2019, they launched the grant funded Quick Response Team. The team’s main goal is to visit people within 72 hours of an overdose and offer solutions and support.
John Kangas is the program coordinator. After his own journey to recovery he said this is his way to give back.
In January he began posting the county’s overdose statistics on social media.
“Whenever you see the statistical numbers that I post on the Facebook page, the reason I do that is so we can be transparent to the community,” Kangas said. “I want to let them know, you see a number, I see a person. If you see there were twenty-five overdoses in April and we’re only 14 days into it that is 25 human beings that need my help.”
He said since posting the numbers more people have come forward offering to help.
“That is why I post what I do on the Facebook page. I think the more transparency there is, the more honest I am with the community, the more they are going to understand the problem is real,” Kangas said. “It is just not something you can hide behind a door anymore and if we don’t do something about it the numbers are going to get even worse.”
The original plan was to send the team out three days a week but they saw the need to provide the service 5 days a week.
The team also includes deputies, representatives from LEASA and people from the faith-based community.