Virginia Attorney General visits Bedford County to discuss opioid epidemic

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) The fight continues against the growing opioid epidemic. Attorney General Mark Herring visited Bedford County today to learn how opioid addiction is affecting this part of Virginia.

Statistics and stories exchanged at a round-table, all revolving around one topic.

"What's out in the woods at night? This is out in the woods at night in Bedford County," said John Fedor, Chief Probation and Parole Officer for Bedford County.

Opioid addiction.

Community leaders tried to quantify this issue - overdoses up 200 percent since last year, one to two overdoses a week, children being affected as young as 8 or 9 years old.

"The numbers are growing," said Attorney General Mark Herring during his visit to Bedford County. Herring has made it his mission to fight back against the epidemic. Tuesday's mission was to learn how Bedford County is specifically encountering the issue.

"The opioid epidemic is touching lives of people all across the commonwealth- the Bedford area is no exception," said Herring.

Attendees raised two major concerns: a lack of resources and more intense prevention/education at younger ages.

"Boys with a Dream" is a group that is aiming to do just that- high school boys speaking out about drugs to younger kids.

"Our hope is that they will always have something to give back to the community and not take away from the community," said Robert Carson, a mentor for Boys with a Dream.

Local leaders say they have the same hope and have been working together, with a lot of familiar faces at the table.

"The level of communication and working together, when different agencies and organizations who are on the front lines of this are communicating well with each kind of works like a force multiplier," said Herring.