Attorney General launches new effort to combat heroin and opioid abuse


Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Tuesday that he is launching a coordinated effort this fall to prevent overdose deaths and to educate Virginians, especially young people, on the dangers of heroin and prescription opioids. With overdose fatalities expected to approach or exceed 1,000 in 2016, a number that would well-exceed car crashes, Attorney General Herring is redoubling his work to address heroin and prescription drug abuse through, education, prevention, enforcement, and legislative solutions.

“The only way we’re ever going to get our arms around this problem is with a robust, concerted effort to educate Virginians, especially young people, on just how dangerous these drugs can be, how quickly they can take over your life, and how severe or even deadly the consequences of abuse can be,” said Herring. “For more than two years I’ve been pushing education and prevention even as we go after the dealers and traffickers that profit from addiction. We’ve secured additional legislative tools, like expanded naloxone and the state’s first safe reporting law, and tens of thousands have seen our documentary, but I’m not going to let up. There is so much more we need to do to prevent the tragic loss of life and the heartbreak that too many Virginia families already know.”

One of his initiatives is to partner with community organizations and local law enforcement to screen his award winning documentary “Heroin: The Hardest Hit,” which features Virginians sharing their own stories of addiction, recovery, and the ways that substance abuse disorder has affected them and their families. In the coming weeks he will relaunch as a comprehensive resource for Virginians seeking education, prevention, and treatment resources.

All screenings are free and open to the public. They will feature “Heroin: The Hardest Hit” as well as testimony from individuals in the area who have been impacted by opioid addiction including parents, law enforcement, and people in long term recovery.

A screening in this area is currently scheduled for:

Monday, Oct. 3

7 p.m.

Boys and Girls Club

169 Keith Street

Warrenton, Virginia

More screenings will be scheduled throughout the fall.

Additional initiatives will be announced in the coming weeks to help educate young people on the dangers of these drugs, to prevent abuse of prescription opioids, to support law enforcement in their fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse, and to provide additional legislative solutions to the crisis.