Drug Overdose

Manchin Capito

Two West Virginia health centers are getting help with their fight against opioid overdoses.

Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin announced Friday that two West Virginia health centers will receive a total of $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant Program.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, reporters Ashton Marra and Jesse Wright team up for a story about the controversies surrounding medical treatment for drug addiction.  And in honor of West Virginia Day tomorrow, we’ll meet the performers with The Travelin’ Appalachian Revue.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from the coal reporter at SNL Energy about job losses in the Kentucky and West Virginia coalfields.  Details about those number are on our website.  Also, Glynis Board reports that the state has the highest number of injury related deaths in the country.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Beth Vorhees / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Derek Harman practices family medicine in Logan County, but he's also been an emergency room physician. He got his medical degree in 2008 from the School of Osteopathic Medicine, in Lewisburg, and completed his residency in Virginia, in 2013.


Even at a young age, Harman has seen his fair share of overdoses.

Heroin is a respiratory depressant, and Harman said people who overdose can have shallow breath and a low number of breaths.

PunchingJudy / Flickr

First responders have mixed views about a new state law that allows them to administer overdose-reversal medicine.

The Access to Opioid Antagonists Act was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. It will make the medicine naloxone more readily available.

  At the legislature today, legislation limiting abortions is on its way to the Senate after the House passed the bill overwhelmingly today.  Uber, the international car service, wants to do business in West Virginia, but legislators have concerns.  And we’ll talk with the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection about the bill to roll back the aboveground storage tank law on The Legislature Today.

At the legislature today, the House approves a bill that inserts the legislature into the state Department of Environmental Protection’s plans to comply with US EPA carbon emission standards. That measure now goes to the senate where passage is expected. And a year after the Kanawha Valley water crisis, things are back to normal for the 300,000 West Virginians affected, but some residents of McDowell County are just getting clean water after years without it. A special report on water and more coming up on The Legislature Today.

At the legislature today, the senate re-visited West Virginia’s Medical Liability Act to add another health care position to the list of professions protected by a cap on malpractice awards.   We’ll meet the new chairs of the Energy Committees in both houses.  Once minor committees, these now have a new status at the legislature.  And we’ll give you a preview of tonight’s television documentary about children in poverty on The Legislature Today. 

Kanawha County Heroin Eradication Association Taskforce

Kanawha County's emergency coordinator wants the public to know that heroin is a problem throughout the county.

Matthew Thomas is using Twitter to publicize drug overdoses in the county, including heroin. He gets notifications on his phone whenever Kanawha County Metro 911 receives an overdose call. He then tweets the overdose's location from the Kanawha County Heroin Eradication Association Taskforce's Twitter account.

Creative Commons Photo

Editor's Note: West Virginia Public Radio is airing a four part series on heroin addiction in West Virginia. The number of deaths attributed to heroin overdoses in West Virginia is rising steadily. This story is a conversation with some of those seeking help and treatment for their addiction to the drug.

The Law Works - Heroin and Methamphetamine

Mar 21, 2014

The Senate amends a bill that would protect those seeking emergency medical attention for someone else experiencing a drug overdose and also discusses a bill that aims to reduce the variance gas prices across the state. The House  Judiciary Committee takes another look at the False Claims Act. Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department talks medical monitoring and Gov. Tomblin's request to the CDC for more studies on the chemicals involved in the Jan. 9 chemical spill.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators amended a bill in committee Thursday they felt contained too many loopholes for people seeking emergency assistance during a drug overdose.

Senate Bill 419 is known as the Overdose Prevention Act.

After interim study and recommendation by the Joint Committee on Health, it originally provided immunities for certain offenses for a person who seeks medical help for him or herself or aide for another person who is experiencing an overdose, but some senators were worried the immunities were too broad.