CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Healthy Minds – Clarksburg will be one of more than 300 locations across the Appalachian region providing free Narcan and resources during the first-ever “Appalachian Save a Life Day” on Thursday, Sept. 14. Organizers will set up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lower lot at 6 Hospital Plaza.
All attendees will receive one Narcan kit, an in-person training, and information about local resources. The theme is “Partnering with People with Lived Experience.”
“We see the value of this event in reducing the stigma around Naloxone and substance use disorder, as well as an opportunity to connect with organizers across the state and region and members of our local community,” Pam McDonald, supervisor for clinical grants at Healthy Minds – Clarksburg, said. “Save a Life Day is one moment in time when we raise awareness and all come together with the common goal of saving lives. Every life matters, every time.”
Save a Life Day started in 2020 with a two-county pilot in West Virginia, then expanded to 17 counties in 2021, and last year all 55 West Virginian counties participated. This year marks the first time that all 13 Appalachian states are participating to take action against the epidemic that has devastated the region.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that half of the 10 states with the worst overdose rates are a part of Appalachia. Appalachian states lost 40,560 loved ones in 2021, representing 38 percent of the nation’s fatalities that year.
“This day of action is about showing how Appalachia is also a place people can look to for solutions. We are a region rich in mutual aid. We’re a place where everyone has lost somebody,” Iris Sidikman, Appalachian Save a Life Day Coordinator, said.
A mobile option will be available for those unable to attend the Healthy Minds – Clarksburg event. The Harrison County Quick Response Team will be available with resources from 4-8 p.m. and is regularly available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To contact the QRT, call 304-669-5871.
For more information, visit SaveALifeAppalachia.org.