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Fentanyl has been ravaging Virginia, leaving a skyrocketing number of deaths in its wake. In the past decade, the number of annual deaths from fentanyl has tripled, according to numbers from the Virginia Department of Health.

As part of an initiative to bring awareness to this health threat, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board is teaming up with two other coalitions to screen the documentary “Dead on Arrival” at 7 p.m. on May 9.

The event is online and will feature the 20-minute film followed by a panel discussion by local experts and details about local prevention and harm reduction initiatives. This event coincides with National Fentanyl Awareness Day, which aims to decrease overdoses.

Drugs killed more than 107,000 Americans from January 2021 to January 2022, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Virginia, some 2,669 individuals fatally overdosed. Three-fourths of those deaths involved fentanyl, according to the VDH. Local efforts to stem the tide of deaths include training the community to use naloxone and dispensing doses of the opioid overdose antidote. The discussion following the documentary will focus on these efforts and other local interventions.

The area Opioid Workgroup and Harm Reduction Committee and the Community Collaborative for Youth and Families will join RACSB in presenting the May 9 event. “Dead on Arrival” includes first-person accounts of fentanyl deaths told by the surviving parents who started Victims of Illicit Drugs to spread awareness and education.

To register for the event, visit ow.ly/JgGe50OaurB. To learn more about RACSB’s training in reducing opioid overdoses, visit https://rappahannockareacsb.org/naloxone. For details about the event, email [email protected].

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