Virginia declares public health emergency because of opioid addiction crisis

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) Responding to the continuing opioid addiction crisis, the state health commissioner today declared a public health emergency in Virginia.

The move is designed to increase awareness of the deadly issue. It carries no force of law and is not an effort to keep opioids from people who legitimately need them.

Commissioner Marissa Levine also signed a statewide standing order for naloxone, which will allow anyone in Virginia to buy the anti-overdose drug without a prescription.