Northern Virginia officials report opioid use increase and fatalities


NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Opioid related deaths and overdoses are rising in the Northern Virginia and D.C. area.

Each county is seeing different degrees of fatality-related overdosing. The City of Alexandria released a statement saying that they are seeing an increase in non-fatal overdoses, while Arlington is seeing an increase in their fatal overdose rate.

Officials suspect the overdoses are caused by heroin and prescription painkillers mixed with fentanyl.

Officials believe that the rise in use and the coronavirus pandemic are correlated.

“Based on our investigations, we have no evidence that would support that these are related to COVID. However, given the timing — loss of jobs and opportunities, social distancing — we do believe that it is likely that this is a factor,” said Ashley Savage, Public Information Officer for the Arlington County Police Department.

The Arlington County Police Department is encouraging anyone with drug addiction to reach out for help and to know that they are not alone during this time of isolation.

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