Councilman Assists Following Friend's OD, Sets Good Example

Updated 1 year ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Councilman Assists Following Friend's OD, Sets Good Example

Huntington Councilman Mark Bates received an overdose epidemic baptism following an incident involving a friend at  his home. Bates has indicated the experience will spark him to become more involved in promoting the programs developed by the Mayor's Office of Drug Policy, such as the Post Overdose Recovery Program.

Specifically he will become "more emboldened" in the epidemic that has impacted "so many of our loved one's."

He released the following statement:

"On Tuesday evening a friend of mine overdosed at my residence. I immediately called 911, and it was extremely fortunate that he was given another opportunity to overcome this personal battle of addiction that he is fighting. I saved his life with God's help and guidance.

Bates continued:

"Prior to this incident, I was not aware that my friend was struggling with addiction until recently, through conversations with his family members. I was also not aware that he was in possession of an illegal substance at my residence Tuesday evening. We had just stopped by my house for a couple minutes after the Facebook live show earlier, and then I was taking him back to his family.
For his and his family's privacy, I'm not sharing his name. However, I remain hopeful that he receives the treatment that he needs to overcome his addiction, and I as a friend will do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

"Furthermore, this personal matter has emboldened me in my position as a City Council member to become more involved in tackling this epidemic that has affected so many of our loved ones.

"I hope none of you have to experience or encounter what I've dealt with over the last couple of days.

"There are a lot of rumors swirling out there, but this is what happened, and I have no further comment."

HNN had received official information concerning the time , location, and charges, but , despite other speculation, could not independently confirm more.

Freelancer writer David Williams commended Bates for stepping forward and "saving a life."

Williams , a drug counselor, said, " I think it is great he helped save a life. No one should be afraid to call 911. We all have loved ones and friends we are trying to help. I've had 911 at my house to save someone. It's nothing to be embarrassed of. This story actually sets a good example."

During an interview with the Herald Dispatch, Bates explained that he had picked up the friend after he was kicked out of a drug rehab center in Holden, WV on Saturday. The friend was taken to his parents home where he stayed for two days. Bates drove him back to his home to pick up his backpack left there following his cut short stay at the Holden rehab center.  The man went to the bathroom and Bates entered after hearing "gurgling and gasping" noises.

Bates told of attempting to revive the man while awaiting first responders.

"He could have died, and I don't know if I would have been able to accept that," Bates said  in the Herald Dispatch. "There is no way that I could have known that was going to happen . . . but I'm glad that it happened (at my house) because he could have been off somewhere alone and be dead and we could be planning a funeral."


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