The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office will hold an Oct. 16 forum featuring a panel of experts discussing the national opioid epidemic.
The opioid/substance abuse forum will include representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore-Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program, Loudoun County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Loudoun County Public Schools, local law enforcement leaders, elected officials and community advocates.
The forum will be held at the Sheriff’s Office’s new Ashburn Station, at 20272 Savin Hill Drive, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Scheduled speakers include U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock,
Baltimore-Washington HIDTA Director Tom Carr; retired DEA Chief of Operations Richard Fiano; Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman; Karl C. Colder of Colder Allied Consulting; attorney John Whitbeck; community recovery advocate Melissa Hinton of Project Loudoun Serenity House; Michelle Petruzzello of Loudoun County Mental Health, and Substance Abuse; and Blaise Carland of Loudoun County Public Schools.
Attendees will also hear from Middleburg resident Rick Collette, who was part of the Faces of Loudoun campaign to raise awareness about opioid addiction. After losing his wife to cancer, his daughter turned to medication for an escape from her grief. In 2016, she died from an overdose at age 25.
During 2017, Loudoun County saw a decrease in both opioid overdoses and overdose deaths, although both continue to increase across the region.