Health officials in West Virginia have announced a new radical way of responding to the opioid epidemic. According to recent news, they are releasing more that 8000 kits that contain Naloxone as an antidote. This antidote has been approved by health official for reviving people who have breathing problems because of excessive intoxication. When administered on time, the drug respond fast and therefore, it can help to save lives. Going by the latest statistics about overdoses, there is no doubt that this is a solution that everyone has been waiting for so long.
Budgeting For the Antidote Kits
Since it is going to cost quite a significant amount of money to sponsor this plan, the health officials sought to explain exactly where this money will be sourced from. They said that programs that have been in operation will not be under financed just to focus on this new approach. They pointed out that there is a federal grant of $1 million to west Virginia, and this is enough to roll out the plan. He reason why there was such a huge grant is because this state recorded the highest number of overdose deaths when compared to any other area in the country.
A Life Saving Antidote
Doctor Rahul Gupta, the commissioner of the bureau of Public health, said that they chose to include Naloxone in every kit because of its life saving tendencies. This is a drug that can counter the effects of opioids by reversing respiratory depression. He also said that the collaboration represents the will of local leaders to combat this vice and turn around the staggering overdose statistics in West Virginia. The best part is that using Naloxone does not require too much knowledge. Anyone who has been through a few training sessions can do it and save lives. However, they are also keen on ensuring that these kits are only used by the right people.
Shocking Federal Data
If you look at the latest federal data, you will understand why health officials want to take a bolder approach in the fight against drug abuse in this area. In 2015 alone, there were 725 deaths that occurred because of drug overdoses. Although there is projected to be a slight improvement in the data for 2016, there is no doubt that a lot needs to be done. This is not an encouraging situation to be in for a state whose survival depends largely on the population. That drugs can take away so many lives in one year is something that should not be taken lightly.
In addition to that, the local health official said that they will work hard to improve the local emergency response services. This is even as they noted that some of the lives that were lost because of overdoses could have been saved had urgent action been taken. It all comes back to ensuring that Naloxone is readily available at the very point when it is needed. It also requires proper training for the agents who will be administering these antidotes so as to ensure maximum safety for all.