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Reminder: Public Urged To Participate In Heroin Abuse Forum On Friday

© Leesburg Today - 08/27/2015

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10), in conjunction with Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman, will hold an Aug. 28 public roundtable discussion

on the rising use of heroin and related overdoses in and around Loudoun County.

Representatives from the Sheriff's Office, Loudoun County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management, Loudoun County Public Schools, the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Loudoun County Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Developmental Health Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration will be in attendance.

The event will be held at the sheriff's office headquarters, at 803 Sycolin Road in Leesburg, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The discussion will explore the resources and partnerships needed to address the growing heroin problem.

The forum is the latest step resulting from the formation of the regional Heroin Operations Team in April.

Other initiatives include:

• plans to develop a toll-free heroin hotline where residents can seek help;

• the establishment of a multi-jurisdictional task force to pool resources and coordinate investigations on user and drug rings;

• the formation of a community and law enforcement partnership dedicated to stopping the heroin epidemic in Northern Virginia;

• coordinating public education and outreach to raise awareness about the dangers of heroin and drug use; and

• continuing an aggressive approach on prescription drug abuse which heroin users often cite as the gateway for their use.

Fatal overdoses of heroin have nearly tripled nationwide since 2010. In Loudoun, reported heroin-related overdoses have decreased 6 percent so far this year, compared with the same period in 2014 and fatal overdoses declined by 67 percent, according to the sheriff's office.

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