The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc. (WV DII) recently announced a partnership with Hope in the Hills and Murphy Media to promote naloxone training and distribution to those attending Healing Appalachia on Sept. 24 and 25 at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds. Individuals completing the WV DII’s free online naloxone training will receive a VIP experience at the two-day music event this fall. The first 1,275 West Virginians completing the training will also receive a free dose of naloxone.
“In the last year, West Virginia experienced over a 45% increase in the number of overdose deaths,” explained Dr. Susan Bissett, WV DII president. “One important way we can reduce these numbers is by training West Virginians on how to properly use naloxone and providing them with this lifesaving medication.”
Headliners at Healing Appalachia will include host acts Tyler Childers and Arlo McKinley, with many more acts to be announced. The full lineup will be announced later this summer. A ticket link will be accessible at www.healingappalachia.org. Funds raised at Healing Appalachia are dispersed through the nonprofit Hope in the Hills, which gave more than $50,000 in 2021 to such nonprofits as Recovery Point WV, Camp Mariposa, Mercer County Fellowship, and many more. Hope in the Hills also started a music therapy pilot project in 2020.
“In this past year, we lost a record 81,000 people in the United States due to opioid addiction – to put that into perspective, America lost 58,000 in the 21-year Vietnam War,” said Dave Lavender, President of the Hope in the Hills board. “Many folks in our region – and around the US – have been battling an epidemic within a pandemic. It’s easy to lose hope, but we can fuel recovery together, and we can save lives together if we bond together as a community. We feel like sitting on the sidelines is not optional. We feel that teaming up with pro-active groups such as the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc. and Murphy Media is an important and potentially game-changing way to energize and activate the large and caring base of music fans to step out and step up to take this rather easy and simple training that has been proven to save thousands of lives.”
The organizations have the goal of educating 1,275 concert goers by Sept. 25 – representing the number of lives lost in West Virginia to drug overdose in 2020. Persons completing the training by July 31 will be pre-registered for the VIP experience and will all be entered into a raffle for two free event tickets. The first 1,275 persons (West Virginia residents) to complete the training will also receive a free dose of naloxone. During the event in September, Murphy Media will organize an interactive tent sponsored by the WV DII for purposes of naloxone training and featuring artists in recovery.
“You’ve heard it said that someone in active addiction has to want to get help in order for healing to start. Carrying lifesaving naloxone is one of the things you can actively do that increases your chance of helping someone you love make it into recovery,” said Joe Murphy, CEO of Murphy Media.
Naloxone training is available now by visiting: www.wvdii.org/healingappalachia.
For information and updates on the event, visit www.healingappalchia.org or follow Healing Appalachia and the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute on Social Media.