The opioid epidemic is hitting Caroline County hard, leading to death, illness and emergency medical treatment. In the past three years, more and more county residents are ending up in the emergency department because of opioid overdoses, and Emergency Medical Technicians in Caroline are dispensing naloxone at a rate that exceeds the state average.
Additionally, the rate of Hepatitis C cases has risen notably since 2014. . Intravenous drug abuse, with drugs such as heroin, can lead to hepatitis C, hepatitis B, HIV and other illnesses, said Dr. Brooke Rossheim, District Director of the Rappahannock Area Health District. The number of Caroline County babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome has also risen since 2014.
The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board will host a REVIVE! training in Caroline County to address the locality’s growing opioid addiction problem. The Rappahannock Area Health District is teaming up with RACSB and will provide free nalonxone to participants.
The free training helps individuals learn how to recognize an opioid overdose and how to use naloxone to reverse an overdose. Anyone who has a friend or relative using opioids should attend the training. Each attendee will receive a free REVIVE! kit provided by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The kit includes the supplies needed to administer naloxone. The opioid antidote can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription in Virginia.
“The opioid epidemic is not just a news report in our community—individuals in our area are losing their lives,” said RACSB Deputy Executive Director Jane Yaun. “Law enforcement officers regularly respond to overdoses in rest rooms in gas stations, convenience stores and even a hospital. Because overdoses are happening all over our community, it is vital that the public learn how to respond.”
The next REVIVE! training will be held July 26, 6 p.m., at the Caroline County Community Center. Another training will be held Aug. 10, 6 p.m., in Classrooms a and B of the Tompkins-Martin Medical Plaza. To register or to learn more, contact Jennifer Bateman at 540/374-3337. Or learn more at www.rappahannockareacsb.org.
By the Numbers:
Prescription Opioids Overdose Deaths:
Caroline County: 6.7 per 100,000 people
Virginia: 4.7 per 100,000
Emergency Department Visits for Opioid Overdose:
Caroline County: 136.7 per 100,000
Virginia: 87.4 per 100,000
EMS Narcan Use:
Caroline County: 50 per 100,000
Virginia: 33.9 per 100,000
Reported Hepatitis C Cases:
Caroline County :153.7 per 100,000
Virginia :89.7 per 100,000
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome:
Caroline County 26 per 100,000
Virginia: 6.1 per 100,000
(Source: Virginia Department of Health)
Founded in 1970, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) provides public mental health, developmental disability, substance abuse and prevention/early intervention services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford. To learn more, visit www.rappahannockareacsb.org.