ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — A rise in opioid cases is raising concerns. According to the Arlington County Police Department, 2020 saw more fatal drug overdoses than ever before.
Police said they can’t provide a direct answer as to why, though they do believe it’s due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has lead to isolation, loss of income and jobs for many. In 2021 from January to June 18, there have been 77 opioid-related incidents with 14 deaths recorded.
Ashley Savage with the Arlington County Police Department said, “We believe that it is pain medication mixed with fentanyl. Fentanyl is really the factor here that we’re seeing, it’s the common denominator in most of our cases that we’re seeing. We really encourage the public, if you are suffering from an opioid-related addiction, to seek services because we do want to make sure that we’re able to connect individuals to those services that are available in the county.”
Arlington police work closely with their department of human services to connect individuals through a program called “Safe Station” where those battling addiction can seek assistance.