Tackling Opioids: LCSO to Host Panel to Discuss Local & Regional Efforts
Loudoun County, VA- Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman invites the public to a forum featuring a panel of experts who will tackle the ongoing national opioid epidemic.
The opioid/substance abuse forum, hosted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, will feature the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Baltimore-Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, Loudoun County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Loudoun County Public Schools, local law enforcement leaders, elected officials and community advocates.
The forum and panel discussion will be held on October 16, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ashburn Station, located at 20272 Savin Hill Drive, in Ashburn, VA.
The panel, moderated by Loudoun Sheriff Chapman, will include high profile experts including:
U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock
Director Tom Carr, Baltimore-Washington HIDTA
Richard Fiano, DEA Chief of Operations (Retired)
James Plowman, Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney
Karl C. Colder, Colder Allied Consulting, LLC., DEA (Retired)
John Whitbeck, Family Practice Attorney
Melissa Hinton, Community Recovery Advocate, Project Loudoun Serenity House
Michelle Petruzzello, Loudoun County Mental Health, and Substance Abuse
Blaise Carland, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Loudoun County Public Schools
Residents will also hear from Middleburg resident Rick Collette, who was part of the Faces of Loudoun campaign to raise awareness about opioid addiction in our own backyard. After losing his wife to cancer, his daughter turned to medication for an escape from her grief. In March of 2016, she died from an overdose. She was only 25-years-old.
The forum and roundtable discussion is part of the regional Heroin Operations Team (HOT) formed in April 2015. Loudoun County Sheriff Chapman joined Congresswoman Comstock to form the Heroin Operations Team (HOT), a regional heroin initiative, after observing a marked increase in drug overdoses in 2015. HOT employs a comprehensive approach that includes enforcement (at all levels), education, prevention, and treatment by incorporating local, state and federal law enforcement.
In 2017, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office saw a decrease in both opioid overdoses and overdose deaths, in comparison to a region where overdose deaths exponentially grew, in some cases, well over 50%.
The HOT initiative has developed new legislation, targeted enforcement at the street level and of suppliers, deployment of naloxone (NARCAN) to Loudoun Deputies, expansion of drug awareness programs in the community and Loudoun County Public Schools, and the extension of partnerships with mental health resources.