Reducing Overdose Deaths


After a dip in overdose deaths for 2018, Virginia is expected to hit a record number of drug-related fatalities in 2019.

The latest numbers from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner show a rising number of Virginians dying from overdoses, driven mainly by increases in deaths due to methamphetamines, heroin, and fentanyl. This trend began in 2013, when drug overdoses became the top cause of unnatural death in Virginia, beating both car crashes and gun incidents. In 2018, it looked as if the tide might be turning when overdose deaths dipped from a record 1,536 to 1,486. However, officials now predict that 2019 will set another grim record, with an expected 1,547 overdoses.

In the greater Fredericksburg area, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board is attempting to quell this tide with a multifaceted approach.

“Substance Use Disorders are very complex and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We know that offering a multitude of wrap-around services is the best way to save lives and to offer opportunities toward recovery."

Executive Director Jane McDonald Yaun

The agency’s offerings include Same Day Access, Medication-Assisted Treatment, crisis stabilization, peer-run support groups, and community education.

We offer a variety of peer-led, drop-in support groups.

“It takes a great deal of courage for individuals and their families to take those first steps on their journey to recovery. We are ready to meet them as soon as they choose to embark on this lifesaving path.”

Director of Clinical Services Jacque Kobuchi

Area residents can now walk into one of RACSB’s mental health clinics and receive an evaluation that day, under a statewide initiative known as Same-Day Access. Additionally, the organization offers outpatient substance use disorder services, short-term crisis stabilization, emergency assessments and peer supports. RACSB also provides REVIVE! training which teaches members of the public to recognize and respond to opioid overdoses.

“We have a tough challenge ahead of us,” Yaun said. “But we are blessed with a strong community. At RACSB, we are committed to walking beside individuals who are struggling, to being there along their journey to recovery and wellness.”

Hope is Here

Upcoming REVIVE! trainings will be held:

  • Nov. 20, 1-2:30 p.m. RACSB at River Club, 10825 Tidewater Trail in Spotsylvania County
  • Dec. 19, 6-7:30 p.m. RACSB at River Club, 10825 Tidewater Trail in Spotsylvania County

To register or to learn more, contact Sherry Norton-Williams at 540/374-3337, ext. 102 or snorton@rappahannockareacsb.org.

Drop-in Substance Use Disorder support groups include:

  • Hunger for Hope, Fridays from 3:30-4:30 p.m., 600 Jackson Street in Fredericksburg
  • Remodeled Recovery, Mondays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. 600 Jackson Street in Fredericksburg
  • Serenity Sisters (for women), Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. starting Nov. 12, 600 Jackson Street in Fredericksburg

Same Day Access hours are:

  • Fredericksburg Clinic, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Caroline County Clinic, Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • King George County Clinic, Tuesday, 1:30-5 p.m. and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Spotsylvania County Clinic, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Stafford County Clinic, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon.

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