West Virginia city once battered by opioid overdoses confronts ‘fourth wave’

Between 2006 and 2014, over 81 million painkiller pills were shipped to Huntington, leading to an overdose crisis. The community previously faced trauma from a 1970 plane crash, which brought them together. The opioid crisis evolved to include fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, leading to a rise in overdose deaths. Huntington implemented a Quick Response Team to address overdoses and provide support. Challenges include drug mixtures, lack of treatment for stimulant users, and political restrictions on harm reduction programs. Efforts to reduce overdose deaths continue, with a focus on expanding treatment and addressing social determinants of health. Residents and officials are working together to combat the opioid epidemic and support those struggling with addiction.

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