A Deadly Decade

Opioids in Virginia’s Piedmont:
A Deadly Decade

From 2008 through the end of last year, 859 people in Virginia’s Piedmont region, including Prince William County, died from drug overdoses. In 4 out of 5 of those deaths, opiates were responsible.

Beginning in 2016, the number of opioid deaths jumped dramatically—more than 40 percent. A big factor, according to law enforcement officials, is the spreading use of drugs laced with fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic that’s 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. From 2016 through 2018, almost 78 percent of the opioid deaths in Fauquier County involved fentanyl. The rate of deaths was only slightly lower in Culpeper and Prince William counties—about 67 percent.

Source: Virginia Department of Health

By Randy Rieland and Laura Stanton