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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announces new partnership to prevent overdose

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

PRINCETON, W.Va. – Standing outside the Princeton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police today, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin, joined by West Virginia State Police Major Tim Bradley, and Mercer County Commissioner and Community Connections Executive Director Greg Puckett, announced a new partnership to expand access to naloxone.

The West Virginia State Police are working together with Community Connections, a Southern West Virginia non-profit, on a partnership that will provide training in the use of naloxone for overdose prevention to West Virginia State Troopers in Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming Counties. Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is a medication used by many first responders and law enforcement officers to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.

"This new partnership is a tremendous step forward in the fight against drug addiction in Southern West Virginia," stated U.S. Attorney Goodwin. "Addiction rates here are high, and because it is a rural area, it sometimes takes a long time for an ambulance to reach an overdose call. For the first time, the West Virginia State Police in this region will have naloxone with them while on duty, so when they respond to an overdose call, they can take life-saving action immediately, when every second counts."

The partnership is made possible through a Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. The $100,000 grant will facilitate Project ReNew, a pilot program to expand access to naloxone for the West Virginia State Police in Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming Counties. The pilot program will be administered by Community Connections, a Southern West Virginia non-profit focused on collaborative efforts to build strong communities and improve the lives of local families. Community Connections will train the Troopers in the three-county area on how to administer naloxone. The grant funding will also be used to purchase naloxone kits for the Troopers.

Earlier this year, Governor Tomblin signed legislation into law that permitted the prescription of naloxone for use by initial responders, such as law enforcement. This allowed for the broader use of naloxone as a powerful tool in the fight against addiction. Other resources include the state hotline at 1-844-HELP4WV (1-800-435-7498), and The Call WV app, which connects people with addiction treatment options based on the app user’s location, and is available for download on Apple and Android smartphones and at A cooperative agreement between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia and the Huntington Police Department funded the creation of The Call WV app and the website by Syntech Creative, a Huntington business, as well as a series of public service announcements about the app and the website created by Trifecta Productions, another Huntington business.

“I want to thank Community Connections for administering this program,” said Goodwin. “Most importantly, I want to thank the West Virginia State Police for continuing to show leadership in confronting the opiate epidemic. We are hopeful that with the State Police on board, other local law enforcement agencies that are not yet training their personnel in the use of naloxone will soon partner in this effort.”

Updated December 16, 2015

Office and Personnel Updates