United States News West Virginia New effort established to help decrease overdoses and addiction

New effort established to help decrease overdoses and addiction

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BOONE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – In a continued effort to tackle the Mountain State’s opioid epidemic, one rural, southern county has launched a new initiative to prevent and decrease overdoses.

Boone County Quick Response Team Program Coordinator, Kelley Massey said, “I trained one lady whose son overdosed in part of the county and trained her on Narcan and how to use it and hopefully she doesn’t have to.”

The Boone County Quick Response Team, or QRT, has been around for less than a month and this is one success story they can already take credit for.

Under Boone Memorial Hospital’s ‘Brighter Futures’ umbrella, the Boone County QRT is the first of its kind in the area offering treatment options and transportation for those struggling with addiction.

Brighter Futures Executive Director, Brent Tomblin said, “that gives us an avenue to actually go to the person, to give them some information on treatment instead of relying on them to come to us.”

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There are now 22 quick response teams in West Virginia and the teams are community-partnerships between local law enforcement, first responders and local health officials.

“We look to have some big reductions in amount of overdoses and access to treatment,” said Tomblin.

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And taking that first step in seeking treatment can be difficult and overwhelming, so the Boone County QRT offers a helping hand.

“We pack up our stuff and we jump in our vehicle and drive to you, we come and see you wherever you’re at. If you’re homeless, just tell us what street corner and we’ll meet you there,” said Massey.

Services are free and confidential. You can also refer a friend or family member to get help anonymously. Contact the Boone County Quick Response Team at 304-369-1239, ext. 4610. The QRT referral line is 866-800-0778.

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