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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Fentanyl Awareness Day

WHEREAS, fentanyl poisoning is an epidemic that is devastating communities and families across the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation; and

WHEREAS, fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance and a synthetic opioid drug that is approximately one hundred times more potent than morphine and fifty times more potent than heroin as an analgesic; and

WHEREAS, fentanyl is often used as an additive or substitute to other drugs unknowingly by users, increasing the risk of fatal overdose, and awareness is one of our greatest tools to fight the opioid public health crisis; and

WHEREAS, fatal drug overdose accounted for more deaths in Virginia than motor vehicle related deaths and gun related deaths combined for each year since 2020; and

WHEREAS, a lethal dose of dry fentanyl powder can be as little as 2 milligrams (mg) and one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill over five-hundred thousand individuals; and

WHEREAS, fatal drug overdose has been the leading method of unnatural death in Virginia since 2013, specifically driven by illicit fentanyl; and

WHEREAS, the leading cause of the opioid epidemic is illicit fentanyl, and Virginia recorded 2021 as the worst year for fatal drug overdoses in Virginia with seventy-six percent of overdose deaths caused by fentanyl, over ninety-eight percent of which was produced illicitly; and

WHEREAS, illicit fentanyl is the leading cause of drug overdose deaths, almost all of which is being illegally smuggled into the United States; and

WHEREAS, naloxone is a life-saving medicine in the form of a nasal spray that can revive the person who has overdosed on opioids and allow emergency personnel time to respond; and

WHEREAS, the Right Help, Right Now plan seeks to expand harm-reduction programs that combat Virginia’s fentanyl poisoning epidemic, in addition to providing recovery support for those affected by substance use disorder; and

WHEREAS, the Right Help, Right Now plan transforms Virginia’s behavioral healthcare system and includes same-day care, broadened access to naloxone across the Commonwealth, and education on programs for prevention, crisis intervention, and recovery support;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize May 7, 2024, as FENTANYL AWARENESS DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.