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Substance Use and Overdose

Pillar 4 - Substance Use Disorder and Overdose

A substance use crisis is unfolding nationally, and communities across the country are struggling with addiction and overdose. In Virginia, the prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD) diagnoses doubled for both adults and youth in one year – for adults increasing from 7.3% to 14.5% and for youth from 3.7% to 7.0%. Overall, the state saw a 35% increase in overdose deaths between June 2021 and June 2022. Fentanyl deaths increased 20-fold since 2013 and just last year (2022) 1,951 Virginians died from fentanyl.

Pillar 4 of Governor Youngkin’s Right Help, Right Now plan is to provide targeted support for substance use disorder and efforts to prevent overdose. The year one plan for Pillar 4 includes $15 million proposed in the Governor’s budget for a public awareness campaign to reduce fentanyl deaths, increased access to naloxone, and a designated portion of the opioid settlement fund for fentanyl.

May 9 is National Fentanyl Awareness Day

Learn how to save a life from a fentanyl or opioid overdose

Click here to find local and virtual REVIVE! Trainings on May 9th"

What is “REVIVE!”?

ReVive Logo

REVIVE! is the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) program for the Commonwealth of Virginia. REVIVE! provides training on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency using naloxone. REVIVE! offers two types of trainings:

  • Lay Rescuer trainings are between 1-1.5 hours long. This training covers understanding opioids, how opioid overdoses happen, risk factors for opioid overdoses, and how to respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of Naloxone*.
  • Lay Rescuer Training of Trainers includes the basic level “Lay Rescuer training” and prepares you to become a REVIVE! instructor. This course is 3 hours long and covers the administrative requirements to lead REVIVE! trainings*.

How can I get Naloxone?

Naloxone is a prescription medicine that reverses opioid overdoses. Virginia passed laws making it available as a standing order to allow pharmacists in Virginia to dispense naloxone without requiring a prescription. Many community-based organizations have also established a standing orders to allow community dispensing. Anyone can access naloxone by:

Fentanyl Test Strips

It is nearly impossible to tell if drugs have been laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl Test Strips (FTS) detect fentanyl in drugs and can help reduce the risk of overdose. Testing strips typically give results within 5 minutes and can be the difference between life and death.  

How to get Fentanyl Test Strips:

  • The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) distributes Fentanyl Test Strips to authorized comprehensive harm reduction sites and Local Health Departments.
  • Information for these community partners and how to order FTS is available on the second half of VDH’s naloxone page.  
  • Authorized comprehensive harm reduction sites are listed here. 

How can I find out more about opioids?