November 22, 2022 Press release
RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Jason Miyares today launched his new “One Pill Can Kill” public awareness initiative, to help generate open and honest conversations among families about the extreme threat posed by counterfeit drugs and opioids.
The Attorney General was joined by First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin, who spoke about her new “Women & Girls: Wellness” initiative.
“The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on our Commonwealth. There is not a corner of our state that has not been touched by its pain and destruction. Tragically, overdose deaths are no longer limited to addiction, but to counterfeit pills containing a very potent deadly substance – fentanyl,” Attorney General Miyares said. “Unfortunately, we have 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 started ‘One Pill Can Kill’, a public awareness initiative to spark conversations around the dangers of counterfeit drugs and fentanyl.
After the press conference, the attorney general and first lady hosted a roundtable with community leaders and behavioral health experts on how Virginia can effectively reduce deaths from opioids and counterfeit drugs.
“With a keen eye on improving the well-being of Virginians and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are celebrating an honest conversation around the realities of fentanyl overdose and poisoning,” said First Lady Suzanne. S. Youngkin. “I hope families will prioritize tough talks, stick together, and learn about REVIVE! because, sadly, we know it only takes one pill to kill.
In Virginia, the leading cause of unnatural death has been drug overdoses, and has been since 2013. Opioids — particularly fentanyl — have been driving these steep increases. In 2021, fentanyl contributed to 76.4% of all overdose deaths in Virginia. The total number of fatal fentanyl overdoses increased by 22.8% from 2020 to 2021. It was estimated that in 2021, 98% of fatal fentanyl overdoses in Virginia were caused by the illicit rather than prescription version of the drug .