In recent years, the number of people admitted to publicly funded facilities for controlled prescription drug abuse has gone down.1 At the same time the number of admissions for heroin use rose significantly. In 2013, there were more treatment admissions for heroin than any other illicit drug.1
West Virginia has made an effort to make naloxone, medicine that reverses heroin overdose, more accessible. In 2016, the state passed a law that allows pharmacies to sell naloxone without a prescription. Early in 2017, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced its first naloxone distribution project.2 Also in 2017, the state passed a law that allows schools to give students the overdose prevention drug without contacting their parents first.3
1 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary. https://www.dea.gov/resource-center/DIR-001-17%202016%20NDTA%20Summary.pdf
2Press Release: DHHR Launches Statewide Naloxone Distribution Project to Fight Opioid Overdose Deaths in West Virginia. February, 6, 2017; http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/News/2017/Pages/DHHR-Launches-Statewide-Naloxone-...
3Associated Press, “W.Va. Law Authorizes Opioid Antidotes at Schools.” April 16, 2017; http://loganbanner.com/news/12660/w-va-law-authorizes-opioid-antidotes-at-schools (accessed April 2017)