Opioids: Learn How To Get Help and Prevent Overdoses

By FCPS & Fairfax County Government
Healthy Minds
May 19, 2022

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The opioid epidemic continues to impact the Northern Virginia region and the nation. Recently, two youth fatally overdosed in Prince William County after taking what preliminarily appear to be fentanyl-laced percocets (official causes of death are pending toxicology results). City of Alexandria officials warned about a recent spike in suspected fentanyl-related overdoses, especially in school-aged youth who report using a "little blue pill."

Fentanyl is extremely fatal, even in the smallest doses. Similar to national and statewide trends, most fatal overdoses in Fairfax County in recent years have involved fentanyl, which is a common substitute or cutting agent in illicit narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, MDMA (also known as ecstasy or molly), as well as counterfeit pills. Nationally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit pills containing at least two milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a deadly dose. Counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl can look the same as authentic pills, making it almost impossible to know whether a pill has a deadly dose of fentanyl or not.

What Can I Do?

This is a communitywide problem and requires a comprehensive approach to prevent future overdoses and connect individuals experiencing opioid and substance misuse to treatment and support services. Take action today.

  • Talk with your youth and other loved ones who are impacted by substance misuse about the dangers associated with drug use. Get more information on substance use among youth, tips on how to recognize and prevent substance use, and available support services from this recent webinar hosted by Fairfax County and Fairfax County Public Schools (slides available online in multiple languages).
  • Sign up for a Virtual REVIVE! training class on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose and administer naloxone nasal spray to reverse an opioid overdose. After completing the training, individuals 18 and older will receive a REVIVE! kit including Narcan, fentanyl test strips and treatment information.
  • Safely store and dispose of unwanted medications to prevent opioid misuse from ever starting. 

Fairfax County Resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing substance use issues, there are numerous county resources available:

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis, text HOME to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or call 911.

The Healthy Minds Blog shares information related to youth mental health and wellness for an audience of parent, educators and community-based providers. Articles include tips and strategies for increasing wellness and resiliency, as well as fostering success at home, at school and in the community.

The Healthy Minds Blog is a collaborative project between Fairfax County Public Schools and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. It is part of the Healthy Minds Fairfax (see below) initiative, designed to support emotional wellness in youth and families.

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