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City of Huntington Receives Donation Of Life-Saving Naloxone

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David Adkins
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West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Boxes of Naloxone from The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute delivered to Huntington Harmony House

The City of Huntington is getting some help in stopping opioid overdose deaths.

The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute donated 1,000 units of 8mg naloxone from Hikma Pharmaceuticals to the Huntington Police Department and to the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, otherwise known as the Harmony House.

The donated overdose reversal medication, naloxone, comes in the form of nasal spray kits.

“We know in particular, Cabell County and Kanawha County are hit the hardest at the moment, and so this is where we're focusing a lot of our energy and outreach,” President of the The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute Susan Bissett said.

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David Adkins
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West Virginia Public Broadcasting
President of the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute Susan Bissett, Huntington Police Chief Karl Colder, Doctor Sydnee McElroy, Harmony House Executive Director Amanda Coleman, and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy and Public Health Jan Rader

Huntington Police Chief Karl Colder said that the large amounts of fentanyl police see and the harm the drug represents is a stark reminder of the many lives potentially lost without naloxone.

“Recently we had about 300 grams of fentanyl seized, which was equivalent to 155,000 people that could have been harmed,” Colder said. You look at the numbers, you look at the risk, not only for our officers who respond, but they can also save lives as well.”

Among the boxes delivered are emergency kits developed by ONEbox. These kits are designed with a 1 minute video tutorial by Jan Rader in both English and Spanish. Along with a video player inside the kit, the tutorial will also be made available online.

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David Adkins
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West Virginia Public Broadcasting
ONEbox CEO Joe Murphy giving a demonstration of naloxone emergency kit, with President of the The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute Susan Bissett on the right.

“Anybody who comes in, they're offered naloxone, all the staff here are trained and carry naloxone,” executive director of Harmony House, Amanda Coleman said. “This is huge for us to have something that isn't injectable naloxone. This is much easier to use, people are less nervous about it.”

Joe Murphy, CEO of ONEbox, said that he hopes naloxone can become a standard part of workplace first-aid kits.

“Think about how many first aid kits we have out there. This is an opportunity for us to make this just available in our workplaces and to take that stigma away,” Murphy said.

The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute plans on distributing more emergency kits with tutorials when manufacturing is complete in August.


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