FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dr. Susan Bissett, President
Drug Intervention Institute
Organizations Collaborate to Provide Emergency Opioid Response Boxes and
Naloxone Throughout West Virginia
CHARLESTON, WV (May 17, 2023)—Aetna Better Health of West Virginia andthe Vandalia Health Network are collaborating with the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WVDII) to increase training and education on overdose response in the state’s 55 counties. The project will provide, upon request, ONEbox™ emergency overdose reversal kits containing two doses of the opioid reversal medication, naloxone to all public schools (elementary, middle, and high school) and all federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in West Virginia. A press conference will be held announcing the project 3pm on May 18, at the WV Drug Intervention Institute offices (118 Capitol Street, First Floor).
The program is being launched with assistance from the University of Charleston (UC) and the West Virginia Primary Care Association. UC is providing the naloxone for the project and is assisting with the deployment of boxes to schools. The West Virginia Primary Care Association, along with the Vandalia Health Network are championing the deployment of naloxone and ONEboxes™ to the state’s Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Centers.
Above: the ONEbox™ (Opioid Naloxone Emergency Box) kit. Download photos and Broll for media use: www.wvdii.org/media
ONEbox™ (Opioid Naloxone Emergency Box) is a self-contained, video-enabled opioid overdose reversal kit intended to contain two doses of the opioid reversal medication naloxone, along with personal protective equipment and video instruction (in English and Spanish) that are activated when ONEbox™ is opened. ONEbox™ was invented by West Virginia native and entrepreneur, Joe Murphy who created the box after seeing the devastation the opioid crisis caused in his hometown community.
Watch a video of a ONEbox™ in action, visit: www.wvdii.org/media. A training mode is also available for the user during a non-emergency.
“Drug overdoses caused by fentanyl are now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. However, younger persons are also particularly vulnerable. Recent research indicates that fentanyl is involved in more American youth deaths than heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and prescription drugs combined,” explained Dr. Susan Bissett, President of the Drug Intervention Institute. “We are pleased that AETNA Better Health of West Virginia and Vandalia Health Network support naloxone training and access for populations most at-risk for overdose.”
“We recognize the importance of having access to the right tools at the right time to help in preventing an overdose,” said Michelle Coon, President of Vandalia Health Network. “Vandalia Health Network is excited to be part of the initiative improving access to our partners and in creating a healthier community for all.”
Lethal overdoses from opioids and fentanyl are on the rise globally and have reached an all-time high in the U.S. with over 100,000 deaths annually. Awareness has never been more critical. These overdose deaths are preventable through the timely administration of naloxone and appropriate response to overdose situations.
About Vandalia Health: Vandalia Health System is a multi-state health system with locations across West Virginia as well as in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Made up of Charleston Area Medical Center and Mon Health System, Vandalia Health has nine hospitals, over 130 ambulatory locations, more than 11,000 employees and more than 1,200 doctors and advanced practice providers. For more information or a map of locations visit vandaliahealth.org.
The ONEbox™ is managed and distributed by the Drug Intervention Institute, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Charleston, West Virginia with the mission of reducing overdose deaths in West Virginia, Appalachia and the nation through education and outreach. The Institute has distributed ONEboxes™ in 40 states and two countries. For more information, visit: https://www.wvdii.org/onebox.