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Augusta Free Press

Governor Ralph Northam led the first in a series of Grand Rounds lectures to Virginia medical students on the issue of the opioid crisis on Wednesday.

“The crisis of opioid addiction and overdose is killing Virginians and hurting families and communities in every part of our Commonwealth,” Governor Northam said. “It is Virginia’s foremost public health crisis. As a doctor, I’ve seen this firsthand, and I want to do all I can to engage my fellow physicians on this issue, and discuss ways we can help reduce addiction to painkillers, think innovatively about the treatment of acute and chronic pain, and recognize signs of dependence in our patients.”

In 2017, Virginia saw 1,227 overdose deaths due to opioids, and 1,534 overdose deaths due to any drug. Opioid addiction in particular often starts with a prescription from providers. Addiction is as common as diabetes or depression.

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