Across Fairfax County and Virginia, law enforcement and health care professionals continue to report a shocking number of deaths due to heroin and opioid overdoses. The statistics are startling.
Health Department, in collaboration with the Opioid and Substance Use Task Force, now has a public dashboard that shows trends in opioid overdoses in the Fairfax Health District. Data includes fatal and non-fatal overdoses broken down by year, age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Information comes from the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) and from the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).
There has been a more than tenfold increase in fentanyl overdose deaths in Virginia from 2007 (48 deaths, or 9% of all fatal opioid overdoses) to 2020 (1,655 deaths, or 87% of all fatal opioid overdoses).
Fatal drug overdose has been the leading method of unnatural death in Virginia since 2013
[Source: Virginia Department of Health Office of the Chief Medical Examiner]
Over 30 activities are currently underway or in development across five priority areas: education, prevention, and collaboration; early intervention and treatment; enforcement and criminal justice; data and monitoring; and harm reduction. Significant achievements include:
The Sheriff’s Office’s jail-based MAT program in the Adult Detention Center launched in July 2020 and is seeing early success with former inmates staying engaged and successfully connecting in unprecedented numbers to CSB’s Addiction Medicine Clinic.
Over 3,700 individuals have received REVIVE training, a free course on how to administer opioid reversal medication.
The Peer Outreach Response Team (PORT) has partnered with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Police Departments to connect individuals encountered by public safety for non-fatal overdoses to PORT for recovery action planning, discussion of treatment and support group options, REVIVE training, and more. PORT is also available to County residents.
An Opioid Policy and Data Framework (OPDF) was developed to support collaboration and compliant data sharing among the participating agencies. The OPDF project, funded by a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grant awarded in 2018, was successfully completed January 31, 2022.
Contact Us for More Information
Fairfax County Opioid & Substance Use Task Force Coordinator