Opinion

Broader access to life-saving drug a wise step

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — West Virginia is considering taking a step that many of its neighboring states already have taken – making an opioid-reversing drug more available to its citizens in hopes of saving more lives from potentially deadly overdoses.

The Mountain State, with the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate in the nation, shouldn’t hesitate because the move makes sense.

Naloxone is a drug which if administered in time can reverse the effects of an overdose caused by the use of opioids, such as powerful prescription painkillers and heroin. Emergency first responders in West Virginia can now carry the drug, as can some people who have undergone training through such programs as the Cabell-Huntington Health Department’s harm reduction program, which includes a syringe exchange initiative aimed at reducing the spread of disease and steering addicts toward treatment programs.

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