The Central Virginia Overdose Working Group is a collaboration of stakeholders comprised of private and public entities, non-profit organizations,
individuals, and local, state, and federal entities to include law enforcement partners, prosecutors, victim/witness specialists,
medical experts, forensics, first responders, corrections, re-entry, education, military personnel, prevention, treatment, recovery and the
faith community, joining forces to coordinate efforts to identify gaps and develop real solutions to the overdose epidemic.
Stakeholders continue to work with countless families andadvocates to change the false narrative that substance abuse is a choice.
No one wants to be deemed an "addict" — an outdated word and concept that should be erased from our discussions.
No one wants to have their livelihood stripped away.
No one wants to become a statistic or lose a loved one.
Substance use disorder is a medical condition that has swept our nation in rising and staggering numbers over the past few decades.
But unlike other medical conditions, it is a topic broached in hushed tones, behind closed doors and with the cloud of embarrassment.
In reality, it is a disease linked to biological predispositions, mental health, isolation, community negligence,
recidivism and suicide. One way or another, we have all been affected by this disease. It's time to erase the stigma and be Silent No More
when it comes to tackling substance abuse. It's time to encourage life-saving conversations and help build paths toward recovery for our loved ones and communities.
“In 2019, more Americans died from drug overdoses than were killed in combat during the entire Vietnam War—largely due to opioids.
This startling figure has been true each of the last three years and deaths are only trending up, having increased almost five percent from 2018.
While we tirelessly seek to prosecute anyone who illegally distributes, prescribes or markets these dangerous narcotics, prosecution
alone will not stop this plague. Central to prevention and recovery is the de-stigmatization of opioid use disorder and connecting those suffering from it.”
— United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar of the Western District of Virginia
“Every single day lives are taken by the deadly plague of drug addiction. Unfortunately, the stigma that historically accompanies this disease often silences
family and friends of the deceased. We must learn from, and honor, their lives. Those who succumb to Substance Use Disorder are our loved ones: our parents,
our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, and friends. They deserve to have their stories told, free from shame. We will be Silent No More.”
— G. Zachary Terwilliger, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia
Brought to you by The Central Virginia Overdose Working Group