On September 8, 2022, all 55 West Virginia Counties are banding together to host the largest day of free naloxone distribution in the state. In its third year, Save a Life Day will include every county for the first time. You can find a statewide map of over 150 events at: savealifewv.org.
Save a Life Day is made possible by support from the WV Office of Drug Control Policy, which supplies the lion’s share of the naloxone for the statewide event. Key logistics support also comes from the University of Charleston Pharmacy School and the WV Office of Maternal Child & Family Health. This year’s major sponsors include: Aetna, Ayuda Medical, CareSource, Community Connections, Unicare, and the WV Drug Intervention Institute.
West Virginia lost an average of two family members to fatal overdoses each day in 2021, down from over three lives lost a day, on average, in 2020. This improvement is due in part to the expansion of free naloxone programs including Save a Life Day events, which started in 2020.
Pick-up sites include churches, clinics, libraries, colleges, recovery homes, gas stations, fire departments, groceries, parks, and dollar stores. A few notable locations include Blackwater Falls State Park, the Doddridge, Brooke, and Burnsville Public Libraries, three McDonalds in Monongalia County, three Grants Supermarkets in Mercer County, four Dollar stores in Marion County, and the Trailhead Bar & Grill in Matewan.
The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute is also providing approximately 10,000 fentanyl test strips across the state for free distribution at Save a Life Day events. The organization is also serving as one of the many locations throughout the state on September 8, 2022.
“At the WV DII our mission is to reduce overdose deaths in our state,” said Dr. Susan Bissett, president of the WV Drug Intervention Institute. “We want people who are struggling with the disease of addiction, or taking illicit drugs recreationally, to not do drugs and access recovery resources, but we also need them to live long enough to do so. Fentanyl testing strips are just one more tool in our kit for preventing overdose deaths.”
Attendees at each location will receive one Narcan kit, an in-person training, and information about local resources.