June 5, 2014
In a joint letter sent Thursday, 12 members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation called on Governor Terry McAuliffe to establish a statewide task force to address the growing heroin epidemic in Virginia.
The bipartisan group of legislators, including U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Congressman Frank Wolf, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Congressmen Randy Forbes, Morgan Griffith, Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly, Bob Goodlatte, Robert Hurt, Scott Rigell and Rob Wittman are expressing concern over the rapid spread of heroin use across the Commonwealth and its impact on Virginia communities.
In the letter, they urged Gov. McAuliffe to create a task force to address the growing epidemic:
“Not a week goes by without a local newspaper or TV news program in Virginia reporting on the death of yet another heroin addict. Many localities are on track to see double the number of heroin overdose deaths over last year.
“According to the Congressional Research Service, nationally, heroin use nearly doubled from 2002 to 2012 – including a 79 percent spike from 2007 to 2012 alone. And these numbers do not account for the rapid spread we have seen in our communities over the last two years.”
Earlier this week CBS19's Chris Stover reported that local law enforcement believe the recent rise in property crimes in the area is linked to the rise in heroin use.