Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman will moderate a public forum on the regional, state and national opioid epidemic Oct. 16 at the LCSO Ashburn Station.
The opioid/substance abuse forum will feature representatives from several federal and regional drug enforcement agencies, health care officials and elected officials. The forum, hosted by LCSO, includes agents 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 and local law enforcement leaders.
The forum and panel discussion is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the recently opened Ashburn Station, 20272 Savin Hill Drive in Ashburn.
The panel will include:
U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock
Director Tom Carr, Baltimore-Washington HIDTA
Richard Fiano, DEA Chief of Operations (Retired)
James Plowman, Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney
Karl C. Colder, Colder Allied Consulting, LLC., DEA (Retired)
John Whitbeck, Family Practice Attorney
Melissa Hinton, Community Recovery Advocate, Project Loudoun Serenity House
Michelle Petruzzello, Loudoun County Mental Health, and Substance Abuse
Blaise Carland, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Loudoun County Public Schools
Residents will also hear from Middleburg resident Rick Collette, who was part of the Faces of Loudoun campaign to raise awareness about opioid addiction in our own backyard. After losing his wife to cancer, his daughter turned to medication for an escape from her grief. In March of 2016, she died from an overdose at age 25.
The forum and roundtable discussion is part of the regional Heroin Operations Team formed in April 2015. HOT employs a comprehensive approach that includes enforcement (at all levels), education, prevention, and treatment by incorporating local, state and federal law enforcement.
The HOT initiative has developed new legislation, targeted enforcement at the street level and of suppliers, deployment of naloxone (NARCAN) to LCSO deputies, expansion of drug awareness programs in the community and public schools, and the extension of partnerships with mental health resources.