Virginia Labels Opioid Epidemic a “Public Health Emergency”
Last month Virginia declared the abuse of opiates as a public health emergency. This announcement came one week after the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.
Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine stated that “three Virginians die of a drug overdose every day, on average,” which is why aside from the announcement she wrote a blanket prescription for naloxone, the overdose reversal drug, that will allow anyone in the state to obtain the drug (Kim, 2016). According to addiction news website The Fix, “naloxone was already available without a prescription in some Virginia pharmacies” (Kim, 2016).
A report released in January 2016 by the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine found that “almost 80 percent of about one thousand fatal overdoses in the state in 2014 were caused by prescription painkillers or heroin” (Kim, 2016).
Kim, V. (2016). Virginia makes naloxone available to all, declares opioid crisis a public health emergency. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/virginia-makes-naloxone-available-all-declares-opioid-crisis-public-health-emergency