Naloxone clinics are coming to the Eastern Panhandle to help educate locals on what to do in case of an opioid overdose.
A clinic is scheduled for Wednesday at Shepherd University’s student center. It’s set to teach those attending about what to do during an emergency, including identifying an overdose and how to administer naloxone.
“The biggest fact that we carry out through these trainings – our trainers will say this as well – Narcan and naloxone is safe for anyone, this isn’t something that will impact you if you’re not having an opioid overdose,” organizer and dean of students Jacob Mellow said. “But it can be life saving when in the opioid overdose situation. So that is the number one fact that we want to get out there is that it is safe for everyone, and it is safe to be carried and administered.”
Organizer and criminal justice professor Joshua Stout says these sort of clinics are important for the region. Berkeley County is one of the most vulnerable counties for overdose deaths in a state that has already seen the most deaths per capita from the opioid epidemic by a considerable amount, according to DHHR data.
“When we see these high numbers in our community, affecting our community, it’s near impossible today to find somebody who has not been impacted by the opioid epidemic in some way,” Stout said.
Also touched on during the training are ways to contact emergency services and familiarization with the state’s Good Samaritan law, which dictates that there will be no penalization for contacting said services during an overdose situation.
“That just makes it easier for a person to know that they’re going to provide a life saving service, and just to kind of prevent the stigma around calling or not calling for services,” Mellow said.
The clinic is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the student center’s Rumsey Gallery. Another clinic is coming to the school’s Martinsburg Center on Feb. 14. Both clinics are free and open to the public.