Opioid Addiction Crisis Declared a Public Health Emergency in Virginia – Governor’s Press Release

The counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico and the city of Richmond today launched a website and a yearlong media campaign under the name Opioid Solutions RVA to highlight the dangers of opioid use and to connect those struggling with addiction to information, treatment and resources.

The website — OpioidSolutionsRVA.com — provides a comprehensive, regionally-focused clearinghouse of information about opioids as well as services available for treatment, recovery and prevention. It directs those needing immediate help or recovery support to resources, and it offers practical guidance, for example, on discussing pain-relieving alternatives with a doctor as well as what parents can do if their child is suspected of using drugs.

What are opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.

Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relieversheroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.

For more information on opioids, please visit: Health and Human Services – What are opioids?

For more information about opioid addiction in Virginia, please visit: Opioid Addiction in Virginia

Addiction Prevention

Take part in preventing opioid addiction by properly using, never sharing your prescription medications, and disposing of medications properly.

  • Never share your prescription medications, even with friends.
  • Store prescription medications securely.
  • Properly dispose of unused medications  – See links below:

Commonwealth of Virginia – How to Dispose of Unused Medicine

Drug Enforcement Administration – (DEA) Drug Take Back Day

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Safe Disposal of Medicines

Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) – Safe Disposal and Sites

Safe and local disposal sites

Understand how addiction works

Mayo Clinic – How opioid addiction occurs

Get Help/Treatment Resources






The following websites are resources for opioid addiction, recovery and community resources located in Richmond, Virginia:

Curb the Crisis

The Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse in Virginia presents CurbTheCrisis.com, a new website intended as a comprehensive resource for all Virginians in the fight against opioid misuse and overdose throughout the Commonwealth.  Visit http://curbthecrisis.com/ to learn more.

Richmond Metro Area Substance Abuse Treatment Guide

The Richmond Metro Area Substance Abuse Treatment Guide was created by the Richmond City Health District. The purpose of the guide is to provide an overview of treatment options for substance use disorder in the Richmond Metro Area. Some of the facilities listed in this guide focus primarily on treating opioid use disorders, but many of the facilities also treat alcohol and other drug use disorders. Visit Richmond Metro Area Substance Abuse Treatment Guide to learn more.

Richmond Behavioral Health Authority

The Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) enhances the quality of life for people of Richmond by promoting and providing quality behavioral health and developmental services that are available, accessible, and cost-effective. Learn more at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.

Reducing Harms

A comprehensive harm reduction program is now available in Richmond!

Virginia’s second needle exchange program – an initiative aimed at reducing the risk of spreading bloodborne disease by offering clean needles to injection drug users in Richmond.

The Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic, is offering a comprehensive harm-reduction program. It will have HIV and hepatitis C testing, referrals to substance abuse treatment and other services alongside the clean syringes that the clinic will give away in exchange for used ones.

The program will operate from 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays. The Health Brigade is located at 1010 N. Thompson Street in Richmond.
















Learn how to recognize and reverse an opioid overdose


REVIVE! is the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education program for the Commonwealth of Virginia. REVIVE! provides training to everyone on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of naloxone (Narcan ®). Anyone can take the REVIVE! training. There are no special requirements.


Trainings Empower Residents to Become Rescuers: Persons who complete the REVIVE training are given knowledge and resources needed to save a family member or friend who has overdosed on opioids. REVIVE! is helping people learn how to recognize and respond to opioid overdose emergencies by administering naloxone.

If you are located in the City of Richmond and would like to schedule a training for your organization, please call Kate Bausman at 804-205-3730.  See image below for obtaining Naloxone from the Richmond City Health District.

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone is used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. This medicine should not be used in place of emergency medical care for an overdose. Always call EMS or 9-1-1 immediately.

Make sure you obtain and carry naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose. You can save a life.

You can get naloxone at pharmacies such as Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy. Additionally, RCHD is providing Naloxone free of charge for those who cannot afford it. See image below for more information: