Harm Reduction & Opioids

If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid use disorder, help is available.

Virginia’s community services boards (CSBs) provide treatment for mental health issues, substance use and addiction, and intellectual and developmental disabilities for adults and children. Learn more about how to get help in Virginia from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. You can also learn about treatment options and search for treatment providers by visiting findtreatment.gov.

No Cost Naloxone (Narcan)Graphic showing the four steps to use Naloxone nasal spray. 1. Call 911 and remove Naloxone from packaging. 2. Insert the tip of the nasal spray into the nostril of the person experiencing an overdose. 3. Firmly press the plunger. 4. Wait 2-3 minutes for the person to respond. If the person does not respond give the second dose of Naloxone.

Naloxone is a nasal spray medication that can be used in an emergency to reverse the effects of an overdose by opioids, like prescription painkillers, heroin, or fentanyl.

If you or someone you know is at an increased risk for an overdose, you should carry Naloxone and keep it at home. Naloxone is safe an easy to use and can prevent potentially fatal overdoses.

All LFHD locations have the ability to train and distribute free Naloxone nasal spray to community members. An appointment is not needed to become trained and acquire Naloxone from a health department.

Información en español:
Identificando una Sobredosis de Opiáceos
Responiendo a unba Sobredosis de Opiáceos

Illicit drugs do not come with an ingredients list. Many contain deadly doses of fentanyl.Fentanyl Test Strips

Fentanyl Test Strips (FTS) are a way for a person to test any drugs for the presence of fentanyl in order to prevent overdose from fentanyl. FTS use a small amount of the drug in question along with water in order to test whether fentanyl is present in the drug supply. FTS do not measure the quantity of fentanyl in the drug supply or if the supply contains other drugs of concern.

The LFHD health department locations have fentanyl test strips, provided at no cost, for community members.

How to use fentanyl test strips
Cómo hacer la prueba de detección de fentanilo

Drug Misuse Prevention

Addiction and drug misuse can happen to anyone. Being proactive and knowing the steps to reduce one's risk can prevent addiction and overdoses.

If you have been prescribed opioids for pain management, never take your medication at a higher dose or more frequently than what is prescribed. Keep these medications in a safe location where they cannot be reached by pets, children, or anyone who may be at risk of drug misuse. Discard any unused prescription medications safely, like at a drug take-back site.