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Health efforts to fight the opioid crisis in Northern Virginia

Published on 21st February 2020

For this month's cover story in Northern Virginia Magazine, I reported and wrote on the opioid epidemic in Northern Virginia. Over a span of a month compiling well over a dozen interviews, I talked with so many caring people--from a family whose son died of an overdose and who have started a foundation in his memory to save others from the same fate--to local health officials, psychiatrists, family practice and addiction medicine doctors, emergency room docs, hospital program administrators, police officer, an NICU doctor, even a Virginia Tech researcher who's been given an NIH grant to study a vaccine--to share just a snapshot of what is being done to fight the opioid epidemic. I was particularly touched by the triumph of a former addict who is now a peer recovery specialist, helping others get clean and sober.

I talked to each person for over an hour each and I wish I had the space to share all they told me--so much is being done in the fight. People are working hard to save lives. There's hope on the horizon.