WV: 3,000 doses Naloxone administered, which hopefully saved 3,000 lives… we don’t know ?

‘Ahead of the curve’: Summit shows WV’s progress on drugs


Naloxone can be compared to finding someone starving to death.. you give them a meal/drink and hope that they stop starving.. Apparently WV… just revives people who overdose and puts them back into the environment from which they came and hope that they “get their act together”…  Is it that they just keep count of how many doses of Naloxone they have administered and that is really all that really matters.. the NUMBERS ?

HUNTINGTON – A delegation of West Virginians who face drug addiction on a daily basis represented the state at the 2016 National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta this week, and what they learned is West Virginia is ahead of the curve.

More than 1,500 people, including President Barack Obama, attended the summit, the largest collaboration of professionals from areas impacted by prescription drug abuse and heroin use.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin; U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va.; and Huntington Deputy Fire Chief Jan Rader, who is also a member of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, were among those who presented during the three-day summit.

Tomblin was part of the keynote address Monday, and participated in a panel discussion with Manchin and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

He was the only governor invited to the summit, and he said Wednesday he believed that was because of the progress West Virginia has made in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

“We are really one of the leaders in the country right now as far as the things we’ve been able to do as far as shutting down pill mills, the reporting of prescriptions filled to the Board of Pharmacy – we’ve taken a very active role in letting the licensing board know who those people are who are overprescribing,” Tomblin said.

“We’ve had the medical community learn more about prescriptions they are prescribing and the problems with those pills sometimes. We’ve got our call line in place, and I think it’s still one of the only services of its kind in the country that let those people who need help to pick up the phone and they will stay on the line with you until they get you to a person who can help you.”

Tomblin said the state has also made strides with naloxone.

Just last year, our EMS administered over 3,000 doses, which hopefully saved 3,000 lives,” he said. “Now, anybody can get it without a prescription, and plus the pharmacist will teach you how to properly administer the drug, so hopefully we will save a lot more lives in our state to give people a second chance to get the help that they need.”

Tomblin signed the bill Tuesday that made naloxone available without a prescription.

He said he also thinks West Virginia is one of the first states to change the attitude toward drug abusers.

“We used to think we could just lock them up and that would help,” Tomblin said. “It’s an illness, and we are going to treat it that way.”

Jenkins said it was an honor to share a story of progress, and he said it was an energizing experience. He was one of seven on a congressional panel.

Jenkins said he focused on three areas during the panel: the potential and power of prescription drug monitoring programs, holes in Obama’s proposed $1.1 billion plan to combat opioid abuse, and the need for more centers like Lily’s Place nationwide and removing the barriers to creating them.

He said that with the state’s more proactive monitoring program, the Board of Pharmacy has been able to search the database and send more than 8,000 letters to practitioners about patients who had received a pain medication prescription from other prescribers, a practice often called pill shopping.

“We are so far ahead of the curve in West Virginia to use that database in a very proactive, effective way,” he said.

Jenkins said the next barrier is finding a way to share this data across state borders. To do so, state confidentiality programs must match. Currently, West Virginia only matches 18 states.

Treading carefully, Jenkins said he also talked about holes in the president’s proposed budget. The proposal focuses mainly on medication-assisted treatment, but Jenkins, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said the president is proposing cutting programs that are proven to work in his district, including Cabell County, such as drug courts and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

He also talked about centers like Lily’s Place and the regulatory challenges to replicating Lily’s Place nationwide.

“I talked about the Cradle Act, which would push the federal health regulators to put in place regulatory standards to allow Lily’s Place to be replicated,” Jenkins said. “We’ve already done it in West Virginia.”

Jan Rader represented Huntington on a panel with representatives from Camden, New Jersey, about communities’ responses to heroin.

Rader said she talked about the harm-reduction program, the involvement of the whole community and other initiatives like the expansion of drug courts. She also talked about where Huntington hoped to go, including needing more detox beds. There are only 18 in Cabell County.

“Being there a couple days brought to light we are ahead of the curve,” Rader said, echoing Tomblin and Jenkins. “We’ve been doing a lot that they are doing at national level just now. We are really making do with what we have and being creative.

“We don’t deal with egos. We work together. A lot of communities are up against political battles, people not cooperating. We aren’t dealing with that. Huntington and Cabell have come together as a community to do the right thing.”

She said one thing Camden is doing that she would like to see happen here is training police in the academy how to deal with someone with addiction and how to administer naloxone. She said she would like to see fire and EMS responders receive the same training as well.

Rader said she was honored to represent Huntington, and reiterated what Mayor Steve Williams frequently says: Huntington will be known as the place that helped.

“We have a problem, but we will help turn it around,” she said.

Andrea Darr, director of the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice; Kristi Justice, executive director for Kanawha Communities that Care; and Chad Napier, prevention and education coordinator for Appalachia HIDTA in West Virginia and Virginia, also presented during the summit.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter @TaylorStuckHD.

One Response

  1. West Virginia drug addiction prevention program. OVERDOSE THIS MONTH, GET A SHOT, JONES FOR 30 DAYS THEN OVERDOSE AGAIN. Their governments intelligence overwhelms me.

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