Appalachian Save a Life Day Provides Free Naloxone as Part of Recovery Month

As part of National Recovery Month, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reminds residents of Appalachian Save a Life Day on September 14, 2023, which provides free naloxone and training through events scheduled across West Virginia and 12 other states.

“Recovery Month is an important time to highlight resources available to individuals and families impacted by substance use disorder, including life saving tools such as naloxone,” said Christina Mullins, DHHR Deputy Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. “Through initiatives like Appalachian Save a Life Day, DHHR and partners will continue to strengthen West Virginia’s response to this epidemic and help more and more people achieve recovery.”

DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health has provided naloxone for the event every year since its inception in 2020, and is providing a record $600,000 worth of naloxone this year in West Virginia. 

The first annual Save a Life Day was organized by DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy, in partnership with SOAR WV, with two participating counties. In 2022, all 55 West Virginia counties participated, and the 2023 event has expanded to include Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“We are thankful for SOAR WV’s commitment to helping us reduce fatal overdoses across the state through naloxone training and distribution, and for the opportunity to provide technical assistance to organizers in other states,” said Rachel Thaxton, Interim Director for DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy.

During West Virginia Recovery Month, proclaimed by Governor Jim Justice, residents are encouraged to support efforts toward recovery by sharing resources including 844-HELP4WV (844-435-7498). Additional information is available at dhhr.wv.gov/bbh and the ODCP website. To view and apply for careers in the behavioral health field, visit dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities.aspx.

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