March 16, 2017
By Paul Collins
MARTINSVILLE–It appears work in the community to crack down on the drug problem is already having an impact. In statistics released recently by the Virginia Department of Health, Martinsville and Henry County saw the number of overdose-related emergency room trips cut in half.
That’s one way the state uses to monitor drug activity, by noting how many are brought in for treatment. By the end of January, Martinsville and Henry County had the highest rate for emergency department trips involving unintentional opioid, heroin or “unknown substance” related overdoses, coming in at 32 per 100,000 people. The average in Virginia was nine. By the end of February, that number dropped to 15.3 visits per 100,000 residents for this area.
Martinsville Police Chief Sean Dunn attributes the decline largely to increased public awareness of the issue and especially involvement of the faith community in trying to combat the problem.
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