Coast Live


Talking about the heroin and opiate crisis in our area and beyond

Posted at 6:45 PM, Sep 19, 2016

The week of September 19-23 is our country’s first National Heroin/Opiate Awareness Week. Prescription opiate and heroin abuse has become a national epidemic, and the Hampton Roads region in particular, has been hit hard.

Gregory Cherundolo of the DEA and Christina Pullen from the FBI discuss how their agencies are addressing this growing crisis and show us a clip from a new documentary on the subject: “Chasing the Dragon – The Life of an Opiate Addict.”

The facts:

  • More people in the U.S. now die from opioid and prescription drug overdoses than die in car accidents every year:  in 2013 fatal drug overdoses became the number one cause of unnatural death in Virginia, surpassing both vehicle and gun related fatalities; from 2007 to 2015, opioids (heroin and/or one or more prescription opioids) made up 70-75% of all fatal drug overdoses.
  • Hampton Roads leads the state in overdose deaths involving heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioids, with approximately 116 fatalities in the first 3 months of 2016.  These fatalities account for nearly 25% of all opioid deaths statewide.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia has partnered with the Virginia Attorney General to create a team of law enforcement officers, members of the medical and mental health community, and first responders to form the Hampton Roads Heroin Working Group.  Their first meeting is open to the public.

Hampton Roads Heroin Working Group
Inaugural Meeting
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Slover Library – 6th Floor Community Engagement Room
235 E. Plume Street, Norfolk, VA
9:00 to 10:00 a.m.