MARTINSBURG — On Sept. 8, West Virginia’s 55 counties come together to hold the largest free naloxone day in the state. In its third year, Save a Life Day will include all counties for the first time. You can find a map of over 150 statewide events at savealifewv.org.
Save a Life Day is made possible through the support of VM’s Office of Drug Control Policy, which provides the lion’s share of Narcan for the statewide event. Key logistical support also comes from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and WV’s Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health.
West Virginia lost an average of two family members to fatal drug overdoses every day in 2021, compared to more than three lives lost per day, on average, in 2020. This improvement is due in part to the expansion of free naloxone programs, including Save a Life Day events, which started in 2020.
The theme for this year’s event is “Meeting People Where They Are”. What this looks like for Save a Life Day events is to provide a larger serving of naloxone to those at risk of overdose by focusing distribution on high-risk areas, incorporating awareness strategies, and associating with people who use drugs.
Locations for Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties include Inwood Family Dollar, New Life Community Church, Family Dollar on Winchester Ave., Martinsburg City Town Square, Martinsburg Fire Station 1 on Raleigh St., NewLeaf Dispensary on Foxcroft Ave., Berkeley Day Report Center, Berkeley County DHHR, 7-Eleven in Falling Waters, Bentley’s Specialty Pet Food in Hedgesville, Mountaineer Recovery Center, Knutti Hall on the campus of Shepherd University, 7 Sea’s Food Store, Jefferson County Community Ministries, CNB Bank on Washington St. in Berkeley Springs and Union Chapel United Methodist Church in Berkeley Springs. Additionally, five mobile outreach teams will distribute Narcan to high-risk neighborhoods in the tri-county area.
Participants will receive a Narcan kit, in-person training, and information about local resources.
“Save a Life Day is about communities taking care of each other. It activates local organizations and individuals who view every life as precious and worth saving. When we reach out to those in the depths of despair, we send the message that we want you to be well, and when you’re ready to start healing, we’re here to help,” explained David Didden. , MD, Medical Director of Overdose. prevention and innovation projects at WV’s Office of Public Health.
Family members, friends of people taking opioids for pain, friends of people who use drugs, and anyone who wants to be ready to save a life are welcome to attend training. Training often only takes 5-10 minutes and people can show up anytime from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with three sites open until 7 p.m.