FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — Three people are dead following multiple overdoses in Fayette County, on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
The incidents are now under investigation by the Prosecuting Attorney, but overdose cases are difficult to investigate. Now, officials said more can be done to prevent overdoses from happening and it starts with community outreach.
“They are somebody’s mother or child or father, and, I just think we need to do more with preventing that and letting people know what resources are out there and let them know there is help,” said Paula McCutcheon, a State Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist.
The Fayette County Health Department offers multiple avenues for help including referrals for counseling, inpatient treatment, Narcan doses, and Narcan training. The department is part of a collaborative quick response team that can respond to overdoses and referrals from loved ones. McCutcheon said prevention should go beyond addiction care, beginning with education and community training that could save lives in the future.
“I think Narcan should be more accessible to the public,” McCutcheon said. “So, the more, the better.”
There is also work to be done on the legislative front when handling the drug epidemic.
Fayette County Delegate Austin Haynes said increasing penalties for dealers is crucial to keeping drugs off the streets. Drug prevention became a central theme in January’s legislative session with a focus on court reform and making more resources available for people struggling with addiction.
“We are trying to keep families together because we know that helps. But, overall there is still more work to do,” said Haynes.