CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia has continually been one state at the forefront of the opioid crisis. So on Wednesday, counties across the Mountain State celebrated Save a Life Day.
“2020 was the first year that West Virginia lost three loved ones a day… three loved ones a day. And so what we needed to do this year is blanket our state and saturate our communities with Narcan,” said Joe Soloman, the co-director for SOAR.
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a powerful and FDA-approved antidote for reversing opioid overdoses.
West Virginia is one of the opioid epicenters, so volunteers say it’s important to carry Narcan because you never know when you might need to help a neighbor.
“I spent 21 years in active addiction and I’ve been clean for ten years. And I have personally lost so many people to overdoses and death. This is just something if your in the situation you have to do for other people,” said Rick Jarrett, a volunteer at the Risen City Save a Life event.
So to make it easy, volunteers are bringing Save a Life Day right to the communities hardest hit. September is national recovery month and today in West Virginia volunteers will be giving out more than 8,000 doses of Narcan for Save a Life Day.
50 different locations across 17 counties in the Mountain State are set up to provide Narcan and free training to anyone who wants it.
“This is my first time getting trained to use Narcan. And over here on the West Side and in Charleston, we have people that really need it so it’s best to be prepared,” said Quinten Burton, a Charleston resident.
Because you never know what situation you could run into.
“I came out and saw a person in the car right next to me overdosing and it was pretty terrifying….no I didn’t but I had Narcan in my car and I was trained and able to respond,” said Stacy Kay, co-director of SOAR.