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Organizations Announce Substantial Partnership to Equip Festival Attendees on Life-Saving Naloxone

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dr. Susan Bissett

304-941-4182


Organizations Announce Substantial Partnership to

Equip Record Number Festival Attendees on Life-Saving Naloxone


September 6, 2023 (Charleston, WV) — The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WVDII) has announced a partnership with Murphy Innovative Solutions and Concepts, and Hope in the Hills to train concert goers on the life-saving, overdose reversal drug, naloxone during Healing Appalachia, a music festival focused on supporting recovery. Healing Appalachia is set for September 21-23 at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds in Lewisburg.


“Together Murphy Innovative Solutions and Concepts, the Institute, and Hope in the Hills—with the help of our sponsors like Gibson Guitars and Hikma Pharmaceuticals—plan to train all attendees (more than 11,000) on the use of intranasal naloxone,” explained Institute President, Dr. Susan Bissett. “The overall economic impact of the project exceeds $500,000, but more importantly, we have the potential to save more than 11,000 lives as event attendees return to their communities equipped to respond to drug overdose-this is truly an event where we have the opportunity to heal Appalachia by saving lives.”


Those completing naloxone training in a special tent near the festival stage, will be among the first to receive a ONEbox, a state-of-the-art emergency overdose response kit (created by Huntington native, Joe Murphy). The kit contains a short video that walks persons through how to respond to an overdose and then, administer life-saving naloxone in real-time. Special merchandise from participating artists, record labels, and one-of-a-kind event merch, and other surprises will be given to persons completing the naloxone training. Hikma Pharmaceuticals donated 1,000 boxes (2,000 doses) of 8mg intranasal naloxone (Kloxxodo) for the event. In addition, Gibson Guitars donated VIP bags and merchandise that will be raffled off to those completing the naloxone training.


Trainings will also occur on stage between musical performances over the three-day festival. Last year, WVDII led the world's largest one-time training of naloxone, training more than 11,000 concert-goers before the closing act, RCA recording artist Tyler Childers.


“We hope to train as many willing folks with the ONEbox at Healing Appalachia as possible from fans and volunteers to artists, roadies, and road managers,” explained Charlie Hatcher, co-founder of Hope in the Hills and Healing Appalachia producer. “Not only will this help spread life-saving naloxone and the ONEbox throughout the country but it can reduce the stigma associated with substance use by having influential artists equipped to share the important message that everyone can save lives whether in their hometowns or out on tour.”


About 30 nationally touring acts are scheduled to play Healing Appalachia including festival co-founder Tyler Childers, Trey Anastasio with classic TAB, Gov’t Mule, Umphrey’s McGee, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Marcus King, Charles Wesley Godwin, Amythyst Kiah, Tommy Prine and many more. Get festival passes (includes free camping) and single-day tickets at: www.healingappalachia.org.


Since its first concert in 2018, Hope in the Hills has given out more than $400,000 in direct grants to recovery and wellness organizations across Appalachia. All proceeds beyond show production are reinvested back into addiction prevention, harm reduction, and recovery programs. These inspiring programs include outdoor camps for kids in trauma such as Camp Mariposa, innovative recovery-to-work initiatives such as Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company, and recovery houses around the region, including ARC in Eastern Kentucky and Recovery Point of WV. Hope in the Hills has a Music Is Healing music therapy program in Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia recovery centers as well as recent festival outreach at Mountain Grrl Experience and Holler Girl in Eastern Kentucky and Healing Appalachia.



For more information contact Dr. Susan Bissett at 304-941-4182 or email susan@wvdii.org



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