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West Virginia reports record deaths from 1,275 overdose | News

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Charleston — West Virginia health officials released preliminary data on Friday’s state-recorded fatal drug overdose in 2020. This shows an increase in deaths due to overdose.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), 1,275 overdose cases were reported in 2020, up from 878 cases reported in 2019. The data is provisional and will change as the death certificate is processed.

An increase in deaths from overdose has been seen nationwide, with a recent increase beginning in 2019 and continuing until 2020, before the pandemic, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the CDC reported that the increase in deaths from overdose appeared to have accelerated during the pandemic, DHHR officials said.

“As Governor Jim Justice emphasized, West Virginia is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it continues to fight the drug overdose epidemic,” said DHHR Public Health Service Commissioner and Commissioner. Dr. Ayne Amjad, Director of State Health, said. .. “This is a disease, not a choice.”

DHHR’s Narcotics Control Policy Department has established seven counties: Berkeley, Cabel, Canauha, Logan, Monongalia, Raleigh, and Wood to actively support the distribution of naloxone and identify areas of high demand. In addition, the office continues to focus on the transition of care for people with substance use disorders to ensure that they are being screened and treated, along with naloxone at discharge.

“We are concerned about what is being seen in our community and I would also like to emphasize that we have many resources to help those who are struggling,” said DHHR’s Drug Control Policy Department. Said Dr. Matthew Christiansen, director of the. “Looking at these numbers and statistics, it’s important to remember that these are people in need of our attention, care, and help.”

Resources include HELP4WV, which provides 24/7 confidential support and resource referrals via telephone, text, and chat lines. Since 2015, the program has helped more than 41,000 people access substance use disorders and behavioral therapies. HELP4WV also offers a line of child crisis and referrals. DHHR officials said. Residents can call HELP4WV (844-HELP4WV), call text (844-435-7498), or chat. www.help4wv.com..

In addition, another service, Help304, provides social and emotional counseling through a professional crisis counselor.People can contact Help304 at 1-877-HELP304, send text at 1-877-435-7304, or chat at http://help304.com..

People can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-TALK (8255), which provides free, confidential support, prevention, and crisis resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“The Governor and DHHR’s Department of Behavioral Health are committed to making a difference by funding a functioning program,” added Christina Mullins, Commissioner of DHHR’s Department of Behavioral Health. “The HELP4WV and Help304 hotlines provide immediate assistance to all people in West Virginia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you, your members, or your family need help, contact us today. . “

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