RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a new weapon Tuesday in the fight against opioid drug addiction. The state launched a new website to offer resources for families struggling with addiction.
VAaware.com is for people looking to recover -- but also for families of someone struggling with addiction -- even health-care providers and law enforcement. The site offers options for getting treatment, locations to d rop off drugs safely, and has several resources that you can download and use. The website is one piece of a much larger project called the Governor's Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse.
McAuliffe's office released this statement Tuesday afternoon:
"This website is an important tool to help those struggling with addiction and their family members find resources available in Virginia, and to provide a resource to health care and public safety professionals seeking the latest information in our efforts to end this epidemic," said McAuliffe. "Deaths from prescription drug overdoses doubled in Virginia over the past 15 years, while heroin-related deaths tripled from 2011 to 2015. We must all do our part to bring positive change to the lives of Virginians battling substance abuse, and I am proud of our state agencies for their teamwork and dedication to this important initiative."
"As we continue to fight the epidemic of heroin and prescription opioid addiction, it is important to have a central web presence where people can find resources and information to get help for themselves or loved ones, and where health and law enforcement professionals can find guidance as well,"
said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel. "It is hard enough to take the first step to find help, but by providing information online in an easily-accessible format, we can make it easier for people to take that step any hour of the day or night."
"Our duty as public officials is to bring all the key stakeholders to the table and develop effective solutions," said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. "This website will prove to be a useful tool for the law enforcement community as we collectively and cohesively combat the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic."
The website is the result of collaboration between four Virginia agencies: the Department of Health Professions, the Virginia Department of Health, the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services. The site is hosted and maintained by the Department of Health Professions.
"We are happy to support this important resource as Virginia fights the opioid epidemic," said Department of Health Professions Director David Brown. "The website will also be useful for health professionals, with best practices, guidelines and continuing education links on pain management, addiction and proper prescribing of opioids."
Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.