Dave Mistich Published

Data Viz: As Overdose Deaths Increase in West Virginia, So Do Administrations of Naloxone

A bill aiming to stave off West Virginia’s problems with heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths goes into effect Wednesday. The Opioid Antagonist Act expands access to the life saving drug Naloxone, allowing addicts and family members the ability to purchase the medicine through a prescription.

For years, paramedics and EMTs have administered the drug to those who’ve overdosed. But with heroin and other opioid overdose deaths on the rise, the West Virginia Legislature decided to allow for greater access.

“So many families have been affected by [addiction],” House Speaker  Tim Armstead said of the bill. “Addiction to drugs is a huge challenge for our state and if we’re going to really put our house in order and move our state forward, we have to address it.”

According to data provided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, nearly 6,000 doses of Naloxone have been administered since 2012. Statewide totals of the medicine’s use have increased yearly.

Hover over/click on a county on the map below to see yearly numbers and 2012-2014 totals for administrations of Naloxone. Click outside of West Virginia on the map to reset the view.