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Blogs / ICMA | blog / Virginia Launches New Tool to Combat Heroin, Prescription Opioid Abuse

Virginia Launches New Tool to Combat Heroin, Prescription Opioid Abuse

To spread awareness of prescription drug and heroin abuse, Gloucester County, Virginia launched its “Sink or Swim” campaign with the idea of having a public service announcement. Two years later, the campaign evolved from a local Gloucester program to a statewide initiative, with a successful collaboration between state agencies and local government officials.

Sink or Swim Screen Shot

Drugfreeva.org is a dynamic website centered on the question: “Will You Sink or Swim?” Presented as a challenge to individuals to live a drug free life – the website is also an information resource for individuals and families impacted by drug use. It includes pages such as:

  • Facts on commonly abused drugs and the risks of injecting,
  • First-hand stories from drug abusers or those who have been impacted by addiction,
  • ‘Grab a Life Ring’ interactive map allows visitors to type in their ZIP code to find hospitals, treatment centers and support meetings,
  • Most recent news on heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

To make it even easier to those who need access to quick resources, the state has created a new mobile app that includes all of the above and can be downloaded on either iTunes or the Google Play Store.

The "Sink or Swim" campaign was presented to the Governor's Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse in Richmond.

"This is a great tool folks can use for education and a place folks can turn for help," said state Del. Keith Hodges, R-Urbanna, who serves on the task force and has been one of the main backers of the campaign. "There are a lot of resources available and this pulls them all together in a one-stop shop."

Read more about this campaign in the article by Gloucester-Mathews reporter Frances Hubbard of the Daily Press.

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