HAMPTON, Va. - Just six months into 2017, there have been 57 opioid and prescription drug overdoses in Virginia beach.
14 of those resulted in death.
“Fentanyl has really shot up as the number one killer in our area,” Heidi Kulberg, with the Virginia Department of Health said.
Local health officials said unfortunately Virginia’s Opioid Crisis is still growing.
“The number of women using heroin has doubled in the past decade. The number of 18 to 25-year old’s has doubled in the past decade. The number of Caucasians has doubled in the past decade,” Kulberg said.
Tuesday, they hosted the “Greater Hampton Roads Population Health Summit”, bringing together different agencies to discuss prevention.
“We’re calling that various partners and coalitions start sharing information. What best practices do you have, what is working well? What hurdles have you run into,” Kulberg told News 3.
Beach police is calling the drug naloxone their greatest success.
“We’ve deployed it 61 times, since we’ve started carrying it and we have had successful conversions in all but two of those deployments,” Lieutenant Kenneth Spivey said.
The Norfolk division of the FBI is starting early - getting involved in the school systems.
“We can’t arrest our way out of this problem,” the division’s Public Affairs Specialist Christina Pullen explained. “The FBI has created a 40 minute documentary called “Chasing the Dragon.” It’s designed to speak to not only kids but also parents, teachers.”
Health officials say one reason initiatives haven’t worked in the past is because this is a complex issue.
However, they remain hopeful that bringing different group together will put a stop to an issue damaging so many lives.
They tell News 3, there were more than 300 overdoses deaths in the Eastern Region in 2016.