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

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.

Addiction Prevention

Visit these sites for addiction prevention information:

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

Health and Human Services – What are opioids?

Mayo Clinic – How opioid addiction occurs?

Opioid Addiction in Virginia

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

Safe and local disposal sites

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 – was launched in Richmond.

The Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic, is offering what it calls 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.

Help prevent overdose with Naloxone/REVIVE Training and learn how to recognize and respond to an overdose

REVIVE! is the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) 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 ®).


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 injection 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. Naloxone is also used to help diagnose whether a person has used an overdose of an opioid.

Make sure you obtain and carry naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose.

You can get naloxone at pharmacies such as Walgreen or at the Richmond City Health District. See image below for more information.

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 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.