Report Highlights Prescription Drug, Heroin and Opiate Use

chart showing heroin overdoses

In Northern Virginia, heroin-related deaths increased 164 percent between 2011 and 2013. The Community Services Board reported a 22 percent increase in reported use of any opiate between 2011 and 2014.

These were among the stats and facts presented last week to the Board of Supervisors in a report on prescription drug and heroin abuse. Our community is not immune from the epidemic of addiction to heroin and other opiates that is sweeping the country.

The report reviewed recent trends and discussed the county’s strategy for ongoing prevention efforts. The report also includes national, state and local data on prescription drug and heroin abuse, with findings that “clearly support the government’s declaration of a prescription drug and heroin epidemic.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the death rate from heroin overdoses has doubled nationally in the past two years to 2.1 deaths per 100,000 people annually. Virginia and Fairfax County have seen similar increases, especially among young adult males.

In response to this data, a Fairfax County Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse Prevention Strategic Action Plan is being developed within a framework of five strategic areas:

  • Education and awareness.
  • Prescription drug storage, disposal and monitoring.
  • Treatment.
  • Enforcement.
  • Data and monitoring.

If You Need Help:

  • If you or someone you love needs help to overcome drug dependence, call the Community Services Board at 703-383-8500. Our staff can help you find appropriate treatment and recovery resources.
  • In an emergency, call the Fairfax Detoxification Center at 703-502-7000 or CSB Emergency Services at 703-573-5679. Both numbers are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • If the emergency is life-threatening, call 911. Our Fire and Rescue personnel carry medication that can prevent deaths from opiate overdose.

Read the Full Report:

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