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'One Pill Can Kill' initiative launched in Virginia as drug overdoses remain a leading cause of death in the state

The 30-second TV and radio PSA will air across the state of Virginia, warning families about the dangers of counterfeit drugs and fentanyl.

VIRGINIA, USA — Attorney General Jason Miyares launched his new "One Pill Can Kill" public awareness initiative on Tuesday. His goal is to help Virginia families start open and honest conversations about the extreme threat that counterfeit drugs and opioids pose.

Editor's Note: The above video first aired in September 2021.

“The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on our Commonwealth. There isn’t a corner of our state that hasn’t been touched by its pain and destruction. Tragically, overdose deaths are now not limited to addiction, but to counterfeit pills laced with a highly potent, deadly substance - fentanyl,” said Attorney General Miyares. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many young people overdose and die after experimenting with these powerful drugs. As a father, this new threat terrifies me. That’s why I launched ‘One Pill Can Kill,’ a public awareness initiative aimed at generating conversations around the dangers of counterfeit drugs and fentanyl.”

In Virginia, the leading cause of unnatural death is drug overdoses and has been since 2013. State leaders say opioids, specifically fentanyl, have been a major influence in deaths increasing. 

In 2021, fentanyl contributed to 76.4% of all Virginia overdose deaths, according to a news release.

Officials say the total number of fatal fentanyl overdoses increased 22.8% from 2020 to 2021. It was also estimated that in 2021, 98% of fatal fentanyl overdoses in the state were caused by the illicit version of the drug, not prescriptions.

The attorney general was joined Tuesday by First Lady Suzanne Youngkin, who spoke about her latest "Women & Girls: Wellness" initiative.

Following the conference, the attorney general and first lady held a roundtable discussion with community leaders and behavioral health specialists about how Virginia can effectively reduce opioid and counterfeit-related drug deaths.

“With a keen eye to improving the well-being of Virginians, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we celebrate an honest conversation around the realities of overdose and fentanyl poisoning,” said First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. “I hope that families will prioritize difficult discussions, hug one another tight, and get trained in REVIVE! as, sadly, we know it only takes one pill to kill.”


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