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Virginia Declares Opioid Epidemic a Public Health Emergency

Nov. 25, 2016 (EIRNS)—On Nov. 21, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the latest state to officially declare the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. Virginia Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levin has ordered that the antidote naloxone, found effective to treat overdoses of heroin and opiates, can now be dispensed at pharmacies without a prescription, or without a statement giving a reason of need.

Other states are moving for the same action. Massachusetts declared a Public Health Emergency in March 2014. In Ohio, lawmakers are pressuring for an official emergency declaration, under circumstances in which the mass numbers of overdose victims have almost overwhelmed first responders and hospital emergency rooms. In 2015, drug overdoses killed a record 3,050 in Ohio, an average of eight deaths a day.

In Virginia, on average there are three overdose deaths a day. In 2014, the first time ever, More people died in Virginia from opioid overdoses than from fatal car accidents.

Adding to the prospect of even higher death rates is the expanding presence of the new, highly dangerous synthetic drug, carfentanil.

This death toll is the legacy of Obama, and from the Bush years before him, in which the economy went into breakdown, and dope legalization and availability have boomed.

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