If you’ve watched the news over the last 6 months, you’ve no doubt heard about the heroin and opioid epidemic sweeping across Virginia. No city or county has been untouched. While the Department of Health is still evaluating the numbers, Virginia is on track to meet the Health Department’s projections of over 1,000 fatal opioid overdoses in 2016, the highest in the history of the Commonwealth.
This week Delegate Todd Pillion (R-Washington) spoke on the house floor about that gravity of the situation. He shared the many House bills we are advocating to address the various aspects of this epidemic to include: creating a workgroup to identify resources to help substance-exposed infants, developing core competencies and standards for our health professionals in training, and directing the Board of Medicine and Dentistry to develop regulations on the prescribing of opioids including dosage limits, treatment plans and Prescription Monitoring Program utilization.
I am pleased to report that I introduced two pieces of legislation to address the substance-abuse crisis have also passed.
- HB1786 – In Utero Exposure to a controlled substance
- HJ745 – Substance-Exposed Infant Awareness Week