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Drug Awareness Rersources

Parental Notification, Law Enforcement Collaboration, and Student Education to Prevent Student Overdoses

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.  Learn about the health effects of prescription opioids and read the Drug Facts on FentanylHeroin, and Prescription Opioids.

In May of 2023, Governor Glenn Younkin released Executive Order 26, directing executive branch agencies to enact a first-of-its-kind comprehensive fentanyl strategy as part of the Right Help, Right Now behavioral health transformation. On November 1, 2023, to ensure transparency and community awareness around the safety and well-being of Virginia’s children, Governor Glenn Youngkin released Executive Order 28, The Executive Order directed the Department of Education to issue guidance regarding best practices to support decision-making protocols for school leaders developing parent notification protocols, and re-enforcing best practices for law enforcement collaboration.

 The Impact of Opioids

In Virginia, drug overdoses are the leading cause of unnatural death and have been since 2013. More Virginians die every year from overdoses than from automobile crashes. Opioids - specifically fentanyl - has been the driving force behind the large increases. In 2021, fentanyl contributed to 76.4% of all Virginia overdose deaths. It was estimated that 98% of these fatal fentanyl overdoses in Virginia were caused by the illicit, rather than prescription, version of the drug. Awareness and education are two of the best defenses against opioid misuse and overdose.


National Institutes of Health (NIH),
provides important information on Opioids and the devastating impact that the drug epidemic is having in our communities and schools. Resources include data on the current impact of opioids, research on drug use and addiction, overdose prevention, and opioid overdose reversal medications
The Virginia Department of Health
provides primary and overdose prevention strategies in English and Spanish, Virginia-specific drug overdose and health-related data, health impact data, and provider training and education.


Federal Programs and Resources

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA                                                                                                                                                    is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leading public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA provides multiple resources on the warning signs of opioid overdose and how naloxone and medications for OUD treatment can help treat and prevent it.
National Institute on Drug Abuse:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             NIDA, under The National Institute of Health (NIH), is the lead federal agency supporting scientific research on drug use and addiction and provides data and resources on Opioid use.

Virginia Programs and Resources

Curb the Crisis: Curb the Crisis features information about where to seek treatment for opioid misuse for yourself or a loved one. Alongside the latest research and data on the opioid crisis, it also contains information on referral and treatment services in Virginia.