The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced today that efforts are underway to distribute naloxone to emergency first responders statewide.
All first responders will carry the opioid overdose reversal drug and will be trained on how to reduce overdose deaths in West Virginia. The DHHR has purchased a $1 million supply of naloxone, about 34,000 doses.
The DHHR’s statewide distribution of naloxone is not expected to be impacted by the FDA’s recall. The brand, Amphastar, will be used which is not included in the FDA’s recall of the brand Hospira.
The doses will be divided among the state police, the state fire marshal's office and EMS response teams. The eight priority counties are Berkeley, Cabell, Harrison, Kanawha, Mercer, Monongalia, Ohio and Raleigh, each will receive 1,000 doses.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of the State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health called the distribution a quote "significant step forward in the right direction" end quote in addressing the opioid crisis.
The distribution is part of Gov. Jim Justice’s opioid crisis plan. The state legislature authorized the purchase of the kits. Distribution will continue through the end of June.