Cabell-Huntington Health Department Receives Naloxone Donation
The Huntington area has consistently been at the forefront of the state’s fight against drug abuse and overdose deaths. One of the biggest issues to emerge in that fight is the availability of the opioid blocker Naloxone. The Cabell-Huntington Health Department made an announcement Wednesday that could change things.
State officials say Cabell County reported 900 overdoses in 2015, with 70 deaths.
Through a product donation grant, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department will receive 2,200 Naloxone injector kits from a company in Richmond, Virginia. Those auto-injectors can instantly reverse an opioid overdose.
Health department officials will now be able to distribute the auto-injectors to those who complete a training course that’s taught on Wednesdays, the same day the health department conducts its needle exchange program.
Dr. Michael Kilkenny is the Physician Director for the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. He said the donation will help the health department put the anti-overdose medicine in the hands of the public, which has been an issue since many doctors won’t prescribe Naloxone.
"We’re climbing the ladder and we’ve skipped up a couple of rungs on this one," Kilkenny said. " This is a fantastic advancement in the whole fight, we’ve got a well-rounded infrastructure in place now and this is a great resource that we can bring to bear and stop this overdose death problem."
Kilkenny says the health department will immediately start supplying Naloxone auto-injectors to those who complete the training.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.