FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2016 Contact: Kraig Troxell, Public Information Officer, 703-771-5278 [email protected] Alex Kowalski, Public Information Officer, 703-777-0625 [email protected] Loudoun County, VA- Over 160 Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies are now trained to administer the potentially life-saving drug naloxone to help counteract the effects of an opioid in an overdose. Additional patrol deputies were trained this week to administer the drug as part of a pilot project through Purdue Pharma and the National Sheriffs’ Association. The project trains deputies how to use the “rescue drug” naloxone, and provides the drug to the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office through a $350,000 grant. Nationally, deaths from opioid overdoses have risen significantly since 2012, and Loudoun County is no exception. As of May 16, the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office has responded to 46 suspected opioid overdoses this year with 13 of those overdoses being fatal, the majority of which were believed to be heroin (pending toxicology). According to Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Detectives, four out of five users of heroin say they began their addiction with prescription opioids before moving on to heroin. “This addiction often starts from a medicine cabinet and not from a street corner,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. “Unfortunately, it often ends up on the street corner,” added Sheriff Chapman. Distributors of heroin in most cases are the users themselves, traveling to Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC and West Virginia, to acquire the heroin, and then return to Loudoun to provide the drug to a small group. “As the heroin is coming from outside of Loudoun, we continue to work with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal partners to target regional sources. We also continue collaborative efforts with our state and local counterparts through street level enforcement. In addition, we are working with legislators, educators and treatment specialists to help save lives,” added Sheriff Chapman. In response to the increase in opiate overdoses nationwide, law enforcement agencies across the country have begun equipping their personnel with nasal naloxone (NARCAN). Over the past two days, 133 Loudoun Sheriff’s Deputies were trained by representatives from Diamond Pharmacy Services to utilize naloxone. In addition, patrol deputies assigned to the Western Loudoun Station were trained and equipped with the drug in December 2015, as part of a local pilot program. The deputies were trained by members of the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue System, under the authority of Dr. John Morgan, Operational Medical Director for Loudoun County’s Combined Fire and Rescue System. In February 2016, two Loudoun Deputies were recognized after they were the first to utilize the drug to help revive a Western Loudoun man suffering an apparent heroin overdose. The naloxone program is part of the comprehensive approach of the Heroin Operations Team (HOT) initiative announced by Sheriff Chapman and U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock (VA-10th District) in April 2015. The initiative includes a proactive approach of enforcement (at all levels), education, prevention and recovery by incorporating local, state and federal law enforcement, Loudoun County Public Schools, Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Developmental Services and other entities within the Community Services Board. Efforts to combat drugs and the opioid epidemic have included: • Expanded the D.A.R.E. program to 8th graders in Loudoun County Public Schools during 2012-2013 school year. The program was previously only taught to 5th graders. • LCSO Rapid Response Unit and Tactical Enforcement Unit conducted interdiction enforcement and investigations to combat heroin and opioid epidemic. Since January 2015, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has conducted close to 100 heroin investigations, made 65 heroin related arrests, and an additional 71 prescription fraud arrests. • Developed a drug awareness program with the DEA as part of the Technology Safety Program taught to parents at Loudoun County Public School clusters. (Courses taught in 2013-2014, and in 2015-2016). • In April 2015 formed the Heroin Operations Team with U.S. Representative Comstock, a whole-of-government approach to combating the epidemic. • Held first heroin public forum in August 2015 in the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Administration Building. • Developed a pilot program in Western Loudoun to train and equip deputies with naloxone (NARCAN) in December 2015. First successful NARCAN use by LCSO deputies occurred in February 2016. Since that time the drug has been used by LCSO and LCFR personnel to revive a number of subjects who have overdosed on heroin/opioids. o NARCAN Program will now be expanded to all patrol deputies in 2016-2017. • Participated in a regional heroin initiative in February 2016 with neighboring law enforcement agencies to target dealers and users. • Coordinated with Loudoun County Public Schools Peer Group and the DEA to bring nationally recognized Chris Herren Project, as part of the Project Purple Initiative, to Loudoun County in February 2016. Over 700 students and parents attended. • Brought the DEA traveling exhibit (Drugs: Costs and Consequences) to Loudoun County in 2016 for a limited engagement (Remains open until September 11, 2016). o Students from Loudoun County Public Schools currently touring museum as part of their curriculum. • Held second heroin public forum in March 2016. Updates included local and statewide legislative efforts, including new Virginia and U.S. legislation. o Guest speaker was Nick Yacoub, Peer Support Specialist Supervisor/Senior Recovery Coach, for the Substance Abuse Addiction and Recovery Alliance (SAARA). Nick shared his story of abuse and recovery after an arrest in Loudoun County, Va. which culminated in treatment as part of his sentencing. • Continuation of Nationwide Prescription Take-Back program in Loudoun County in coordination with the Purcellville Police Department, the Middleburg Police Department and the DEA. Since the inception of the DEA take-back program in 2010, nearly 8,000 pounds of unwanted and unused prescription medications have been taken off the streets of Loudoun County. o As part of Take-Back day, a joint press conference was held on April 30 to discuss growing prescription opioid epidemic with Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg; Victoria Cochran, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security; Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman; and US Attorney Dana Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia to highlight opiate epidemic, and Nick Yacoub, Peer Support Specialist Supervisor/Senior Recovery Coach, for the Substance Abuse Addiction and Recovery Alliance (SAARA). • In May 2015, announced participation in Safer Communities with CVS to have drug collection boxes located at three Loudoun Sheriff’s Office locations. Residents can now dispose of unwanted prescription medication all year long. • Expansion of naloxone program to all patrol deputies in partnership with National Sheriffs’ Association and Purdue Pharma. The LCSO is one of only four agencies nationwide selected for the pilot project. • Partnered with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on soon-to-be released roll-call video discussing heroin use and Virginia’s efforts to prevent it.