Throughout the past few years, the opioid crisis has reached an all-time high throughout the United States. West Virginia alone has seen a dramatic rise in opioid addiction and overdose. Furthermore, the state has one of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in the country. People turn to opioids as a way to escape reality – this has caused West Virginia to have the highest deaths related to opioid overdose in the United States. The state experiences an average of 57.8 deaths per 100,000 residents, which is nearly 3 times higher than the national average of 21.7 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Right now, there is a small group of high school students from Westfield, Fairfax, Chantilly, and Osbourn High Schools who have made it their mission to help stop this crisis that is plaguing their state. Their goal is to raise $8,000 for Naloxone (the medical name for Narcan) and donate them to police stations throughout West Virginia. Narcan can treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. This opioid antagonist binds to opioid receptors and can quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has stopped as a result of overdosing.
A single Narcan kit costs about $125 USD (2 doses per kit), and anyone who is/knows an addict is advised by the FDA to carry one. Unfortunately, in West Virginia, only large hospitals carry it and by the time overdose patients get to the hospital, it is often too late. This mission is important to these students because they have seen the effects of the opioid crisis first hand. To reach their goal of $8,000, the students will team up with the non-profit Core Educational Services.
They believe it is time to step-up, help their neighbors, and be the change the world needs to see. This epidemic has taken children, siblings, parents, and friends away from millions of people, and this needs to change. These students hope to bring light to the opioid crisis plaguing West Virginia and to influence the first steps towards change in communities around the state and the United States.
Please help these students in their mission to combat the opioid crisis in West Virginia and be a part of the footprint that can change the country. Donate below to join the fight against opioid use and overdose.