County Opioid Response

The Opioid Crisis

Every year in the United States, more than 100,000 people died from a drug overdose. The opioid epidemic started in the 1990's with the over-prescribing of opioid medications. The Substance Use Steering Committee, established in fall 2017 to address the heroin and opioid crisis in Chesterfield County, involves inter-departmental collaboration and partnership with organizations such as the Substance Abuse Free Environment (SAFE) Coalition

The epidemic has moved away from prescription opioids and shifted to heroin and fentanyl. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is the now main driver of the opioid overdose crisis.

Substance Use Prevention

Substance use disorder is preventable. Part of preventing a substance use disorder is knowing your personal risk factors for addiction. There are many factors that make up risk - early first use of drugs, parental addiction, trauma exposure, and drug availability are some examples. There are also factors that can help avoid a substance use disorder called protective factors. These are things like strong family or community ties, access to physical and mental healthcare, and strong community resources, like community centers.

Overdose Prevention

Overdose deaths have been on the rise. Opioids are a major factor, but we also know that many people use more than one drug at a time. This is called poly-substance use and is another major factor in the increase in overdoses.

Overdose prevention involves preventing drug use, providing treatment to those who want it, offering harm reduction, and providing recovery support. In Chesterfield County, we offer training on how to use Narcan (naloxone) a medication that can save a life during an opioid overdose. This life-saving medication is available for free.

For more information, email the substance use outreach coordinator or call 804-717-6169.

Seeking Help

If you or your loved one are struggling with substance use, visit the Adult Substance Use Services page.

For more information, email the substance use outreach coordinator and view the opioid epidemic video.