BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – It’s Save a Life Day and all 55 counties are taking part in the initiative.
As a crippling problem in the state, the event is held to help people get better informed on how to deal with the opioid epidemic.
But beyond the information, the event provided over 150 free Narcan pick-up sites. Narcan is a nasal spray meant to treat people who are overdosing on opioids. People were taught how to use the spray when needed and potentially help to save a life.
“We are trying to get Narcan in the hands of everybody because Narcan is a lifesaving device,” the Regional Coordinator for Raleigh County Drug Control Policy, Janet Conroy says. “It’s not just for people who abuse drugs, it’s for everybody. It’s for elderly people who forget to take their medications and they take it again; they could go into an overdose situation too.”
Hundreds of volunteers statewide worked at the Narcan booths all day on Thursday, September 8. While the event is hosted by the partnership of the Raleigh County Prevention Coalition and Community Connections, other organizations also took part.
People came out to share their real-life drug recovery stories. One of those stories was from a graduate of a local recovery facility, Brian’s Safehouse.
After using opiates and then heroin and meth over a period of 8 years, Jessie Berry had lost everything. He found Brian’s Safehouse prior to overdosing on what he believed to be Fentanyl and was put in the hospital. He graduated from the house on August 20 of this year.
He says the support of others is the most crucial part of the recovery process.
“I mean it’s a scary thing to begin with, but the best thing is to find sober and safe people to be around, that’s the biggest thing,” says Berry. “If you can find a group of people that are sober and that do want the best for you, then that’s the best thing you can do right there.”
The organization WIN West Virginia was giving out free Fentanyl strips at the event, which are used to test other drugs for traces of the deadly substance.