Home One Pill Can Kill: AG Miyares and FL Suzanne Youngkin launch fentanyl awareness campaign
Health, Politics, State/National

One Pill Can Kill: AG Miyares and FL Suzanne Youngkin launch fentanyl awareness campaign

Rebecca Barnabi

In Roanoke today, Attorney General Jason Miyares and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin launched a fentanyl awareness campaign at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.

In coordination with the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and the Office of Health and Human Resources, the campaign is designed to educate Roanoke parents and caregivers about the dangers of opioids and the likelihood of fentanyl laced drugs.

Based on Emergency Medical Services data, the city of Roanoke ranks among the top 10 cities in America for the highest rates of nonfatal opioid overdoses, per capita. In 2021, Roanoke represented 2.8 percent of fentanyl-related deaths in the Commonwealth, although they represent just 1.2 percent of the population. Approximately 3 out of every 4 drug-related deaths in Roanoke involved fentanyl.

“Five Virginians die a day because of fentanyl. This illicit drug is the reason countless Virginia families have an empty chair at every holiday and birthday. As the father of three school-aged daughters, I know teaching our kids about fentanyl and its dangers is the only way to keep them safe,” Miyares said. “This campaign is designed to do exactly that — provide parents, caregivers and our children with the resources and information to understand and fight back against fentanyl. We want to spread the word in Roanoke that One Pill Can Kill.”

The campaign will consist of multimedia and targeted messaging in the Roanoke area, along with a web-based statewide resource.

“Fentanyl is killing our young people and hurting families across the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said. “By bringing attention to the dangers of this illicit drug, while giving a voice to victims, we aspire to save lives. Ultimately, caring for one another is our higher calling.”

Miyares and Youngkin launched a public awareness campaign called “One Pill Can Kill” in November 2022 to generate open, honest conversations amongst families about fentanyl and the extreme threat it poses by raising awareness about counterfeit drugs. One Pill Can Kill will continue to serve as a statewide resource for Virginia families.

“As our family approaches the one-year mark from when we lost our only child, Cayden Foster, we wholeheartedly support this initiative. Addressing this issue requires a comprehensive approach that includes removing dealers from our neighborhoods and schools, spreading awareness, treating addiction and more,” Afrodita and Sean Foster said. “This initiative will help greatly with that effort and we look forward to continued partnership with the First Lady and Attorney General to push back and eliminate the flood of this deadly poison into our communities.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.