Attorney General Miyares visits Carilion to collaborate on battling opioid crisis

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 5:17 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Attorney General Jason Miyares stopped in Southwest Virginia Monday to speak with health care officials at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital about the opioid epidemic.

“Nationally, we’ve lost 105,000 Americans to overdoses and that means that we’ve lost the equivalent of a Vietnam war, two of them every twelve months,” says the Attorney General. It’s a pattern his office is looking to halt.

Miyares says the health care system is a vital piece to fighting the opioid epidemic, and that Carilion is a leader in the cause.

“Carilion really is in many ways a model of new and innovative treatments,” he explains. “They’re taking very much a wholistic approach.”

It’s an approach that considers the potential role of mental health in opioid addiction, among other innovations. But Miyares says they need more resources.

“Candidly, so many of our mental health workers and our hospital workers right now, they feel like they’re under siege. That’s why I felt like I needed to come out and meet with them and hear from them personally.”

It’s a perspective, the Attorney General explains, his office intends to combine with additional efforts, including public policy, increased education and treatment, as they look to tackle the opioid crisis in the Commonwealth.

“It’s going to take a multiple stage front. Both consumer protection, law enforcement, working with healthcare providers. There’s not one silver bullet. There’s going to be multiple fronts we can tackle and hopefully try to lower the number of deaths and the number of families that are being ripped apart by this.”

Miyares also stressed the dedication to stopping overprescribing, and persecuting drug dealers perpetuating the epidemic.

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