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ONEboxes to be dispersed in schools, medical centers across the state


CHARLESTON — A few organizations are coming together to provide training, education, and drug overdose medication all in one box, making response to drug overdoses easier than ever.

A news conference was held Thursday at the office of West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute in Charleston as they announce their new project to bring Opioid Naloxone Emergency Boxes, or ONEbox to all 55 counties, and will specifically be dispersed to all public schools and federally qualified health centers in West Virginia.

WVDII is partnering with Aetna Better Health of West Virginia, Vandalia Health Network, the University of Charleston and the West Virginia Primary Care Association to launch the effort.

The boxes contain two doses of the opioid overdose reversal drug, Naloxone, gloves, a CPR shield for rescue breathing, and a training video to explain how to administer the treatment.

Assistant Professor at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Lindsay Acree is featured in the boxes’ training video, and she said it feels good to be able to help people who may be overwhelmed in a situation where they have to respond to a drug overdose.

“Often times people panic when they’re in a situation dealing with someone who is overdosing, whether they know that person or not, there’s going to be that panic, so to be able to have a voice to teach that person quickly on how to do the steps and make sure they are helping that person appropriately is very important,” Acree said.

Not only do the contents in the box enable the reversal of overdoses by taking the drug causing the overdose off the brain, but it allows people to breath again, as Acree said a person’s breathing is often what goes away first.

ONEbox Outreach Coordinator at WVDII, Kenny Matthews has been in long-term addiction recovery going on for 6 and a half years now, and he said he knows first-hand of the hope these boxes can bring to people.

“I know the value they hold and I know that every box, every dose of Naloxone is somebody’s life, and when you look at it in that aspect, why wouldn’t you want it saturated every where?” said Matthews.

He said so far the boxes have been distributed to 40 states and two countries, as life-saving capabilities from drug overdoses are a necessity in every corner of the world.

Matthews added that there’s many reasons people might need to use Naloxone, not just people who willingly take dangerous drugs but children or animals who accidently ingest it, or elderly people who forgot they already took their medication and ends up taking too much, but no matter the reason, everyone deserves that second chance.

“If they die they never get that chance, and it could be the first time or it could be the thousandth, it doesn’t matter, it affects everybody differently, and just having Naloxone there does give that person that chance to live,” he said.

Matthews said West Virginia now has ONEbox kits on every college campus in the state.