Governor Ralph Northam visits Roanoke to talk opioid crisis

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The governor paid our region another visit Tuesday. This time, to continue his discussion on the opioid epidemic. His talk was targeted toward the future of medicine.

At Virginia Tech Carilion, the governor was taking the role of professor. He's using his experience as a doctor to teach the next generation of doctors about the opioid crisis, with information from the Virginia Department of Health. He noted the 12-hundred opioid overdose deaths last year.

Governor Ralph Northam said, “A lot of these addiction problems start with prescriptions from providers so we need to be aware of that.”

The governor also invited Ryan Hall to share his story. A high school sports injury eventually led him to opioid and heroin addiction. His talk Tuesday was his chance to teach future doctors the impact they can have.

Ryan Hall said, “Watch what you prescribe, how much you prescribe, for how long you prescribe.”

Sheriff Kevin Hall, Alleghany County Sheriff, said, “It's been an incredible journey. It was a very dark time in both of our lives.”

Doctors weren't the only ones listening. His dad -- Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin Hall -- was there, too.

Sheriff Hall said, “We've been through this, but this is our way to help save somebody else and some other family.”

Hall has been sharing his story with the governor elsewhere, including last month at Liberty University's College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Northam said, “I think it's a powerful message coming from Ryan and his father of how significant this problem is and that we all need to work together to make sure we conquer it.”