First Choice Services and HELP4WV are honored to be a part of this important event.
The recent spate of drug overdoses in Huntington, with 28 people overdosing within four hours of each other, has again put the West Virginia drug epidemic in the national spotlight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. Although many who overdose are revived, in 2014, 627 of these overdoses were fatal.
Ryan Brown was one of those. In 2014, his mother, Cece Brown, got the news that her son had lost his battle with addiction. He was found dead at a local department store. She is speaking out to bring attention to this issue and put a face to the statistics. She wants people to understand that her son was more than a statistic. He was a loving son and brother, a college student, sports enthusiast, and Mountaineer fan. She says he came back from college addicted to Heroin, and overdosed four times before dying on the fifth overdose.
This year, as part of International Overdose Day, Brown wants to let everyone know that each of those overdose statistics has a name, face, and grieving family. She has organized an event on August 27 at 10 a.m. that will take place on the steps of the WV State Capitol, and is asking that anyone who has lost a loved one to drug addiction attend. She suggests that each person bring a pair of shoes, to symbolize their lost loved one. Names of those lost will be read aloud, and speakers will discuss what is being done to curb the epidemic.
Anyone who needs help with a drug addiction, or who has a family member who needs help, is urged to call the statewide substance abuse and behavioral health hotline, 1-844-HELP-4WV.