Chesterfield Health District Offers You the Tools to Help End Overdoses

May 3, 2024
Media Contact: Kristy Fowler, PR Specialist,

Chesterfield Health District Offers You the Tools to Help End Overdoses

CHESTERFIELD, Va.Fentanyl-laced street drugs are driving a surge in fatal overdoses. Think this can’t happen to you or someone you love? Talk to Jennifer Jurlando.

Her brother, Mark Jurlando, beat a drug habit in his teens with rehab, lived a fulfilling life for 40 years, and then relapsed after a cancer diagnosis, taking prescribed pain medicine after surgery. His life fell apart, and he died in a hotel room from a heroin overdose with fentanyl.

“If the housekeeping staff had Naloxone, Mark may have survived,” Jurlando said.

Naloxone is an over-the-counter medication that reverses an overdose that might otherwise be fatal. Anyone can learn how to use this tool to help prevent overdose deaths in their community.

Compared to the state average, Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights have higher rates of:

  • drug overdose deaths
  • drug overdose emergency department visits
  • drug overdose hospitalizations

“I have three teenage sons. They’re good, smart kids,” Jurlando said. “Don’t assume your kids are too smart to take a friend’s medication for a headache. Or that your elderly parents may forget they already took a prescription pain reliever and take it again.”

May 7 is Fentanyl Awareness Day. Learn how to spot the signs of an overdose and respond using life-saving Naloxone. In 2022, almost eight out of 10 (79%) drug overdose deaths involved fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol.

“It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” Jurlando said. “I went to a Naloxone training because the overdose deaths in my state last year were the highest ever. Also, I frequent places that people might overdose, like libraries, parking lots, everywhere.”

Jurlando is a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer with the Chesterfield Health District and now helps lead Naloxone trainings.

Join the Chesterfield Health District in the community room of the Midlothian Library, located at 100 Millworks Crossing, on Tuesday, May 7 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Each attendee will receive training and free Naloxone nasal spray to use on someone experiencing an overdose. Register online.