From Virginia’s new “Safe Reporting” law to the expanded availability of Naloxone, learn how the treatment of heroin and prescription painkiller addiction is changing across the Commonwealth.


If you experience or witness an overdose in progress, call 911. Helping that person should be your top concern.

Fatal overdoses often occur when witnesses are afraid to call for help because they may get in trouble with the law.

But that is no longer a reason to avoid calling for help in Virginia.

In 2015, Virginia joined 21 other states and the District of Columbia by enacting a “Safe Reporting” law, also known as a Good Samaritan provision. It offers legal protection for drug users trying to save a person having an overdose, as long as they call 911 and cooperate with emergency responders and law enforcement.

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Naloxone, which is also known by the brand name Narcon™, is a third-party prescription drug that counteracts the effects of a heroin or prescription opioid overdose.

Virginia recently passed laws that expand the availability of naloxone through pharmacies statewide. Now, friends and family members of opioid users, as well as first responders, can possess and administer naloxone. Naloxone has saved more than 10,000 lives from overdose across the U.S.

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