On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Virginia State Police hosted the first of a series of community stakeholder’s meetings regarding the abuse of heroin in the Northwest Region of the Western District of Virginia.
Since January 1, 2013, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force has responded to over 100 heroin overdose incidents in its coverage area. In addition, there have been more than 15 deaths from heroin overdoses in the region during the same time period.
On December 4, more than 80 individuals crammed into the Warren County Public Safety Building for a night of thoughtful discussion and problem solving in regards to the rising tide of heroin overdoses. Those in attendance included law enforcement officers, school leaders, community groups, and treatment professional, just to name a few.
Individuals broke into three groups: law enforcement, prevention and treatment. Each group will used their time on December 4 to develop preliminary objectives that can be used to slow the rate of overdose incidents. These motivated groups will continue to meet regularly to address this growing community problem using a holistic approach that combines vigorous enforcement, effective prevention and education methods and support for viable treatment options.
United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy addressed the group at the December 4 Community Stakeholder’s Meeting on Heroin.