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Monongah Town Council takes lead on Narcan training after spike in overdose deaths

By Esteban Fernandez, Times West Virginian

MONONGAH, W.Va. — After the recent deaths of a few Monongah residents to drug overdose, Monongah Town Council chose to lead by example to prevent it from happening again.

The town invited members from the Marion County Quick Response Team to demonstrate how to properly administer Narcan before the start of the Town Council session on Monday night.

“The whole goal was to bring awareness and education to the community and to let them know if, you know your friend or neighbor or whoever is overdosing, how to administer Narcan to help save a life,” Mayor John “JohnBoy” Palmer said. “That’s our whole goal. Save one life. Every life counts.”

Palmer said drug related death hits harder in a small town because of the intimate nature of small town life. A larger city might cloak the victims of substance use disorder in anonymity, but the same can’t be said for a place like Monongah, where residents are deeply familiar with one another.

Jill Poe, a coordinator with the Office of Drug Control Policy, said communication is a big problem for small towns as well. People might not know where resources are and getting that information out is difficult when traditional sources like newspapers don’t publish as frequently, residents don’t see each other often and there’s a lack of cell, phone and internet service.

The lack of communication also hobbles attempts to collect accurate data.

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