Daily Athenaeum – West Virginia is the opioid overdose capital of the country. Read
Just last month, there were 26 overdoses in a single four-hour span in Huntington. While all 26 people survived, it seems more to the credit of health professionals and state legislators who in June made the lifesaving antidote Narcan available without a prescription.
While people aren’t dying as frequently, the abuse is still rampant. The most recent statistics available show that in West Virginia in 2013 there were 34 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s twice the national average.
How can we fight this?
Narcan is the first step. But reviving overdose victims is not solving the problem.
First, this solution is reactive and doesn’t address the real problem: abuse.
Second, this solution requires money that this state doesn’t have. West Virginia will be an estimated $558 million in the red for 2017, according to Ted Boettner, Executive Director of the West Virginia Center of Budget and Policy.
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