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WV men in red spread word of addiction resources

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Erin Beck Four men dressed all in red who took to the streets in Huntington and Charleston last month explained what issue they wanted to raise awareness of at a Tuesday press conference. All four men have struggled with addiction and overdosed in the last year.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Erin Beck
Four men dressed all in red who took to the streets in Huntington and Charleston last month explained what issue they wanted to raise awareness of at a Tuesday press conference. All four men have struggled with addiction and overdosed in the last year.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When an addict walks by another person on the street, no one turns to look.

But when four local men who have all suffered from recent overdoses walked down the streets of Huntington and Charleston early last month, lots of people stopped to stare.

The four men were dressed in head-to-toe red suits and would only say they wanted to “raise awareness.”

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, during a lunch break in the ongoing trial of Don Blankenship, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin explained what issue they wanted to spotlight:

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose rate in the nation, more than double the national average, according to a June report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

All West Virginians know an addict. Addiction affects all walks of life.

Some of them just don’t know it.

“It could be a friend,” Goodwin said. “It could be a family member. They look like you and me.”

“Social media lit up with sightings and speculation,” Goodwin said. “Some even reported being creeped out by their presence but what people didn’t know was that these gentleman have struggled with addiction. These gentleman, at some point in the past, have overdosed…

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