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Services for those in need / September 10, 2020

According to the Virginia State Police, law enforcement and local hospitals have reported a rise in confirmed heroin deaths in Mecklenburg and Charlotte counties in the first six months of 2020 — two deaths in each locality, compared to none at this same time in 2019. Six deaths in Halifax County are suspected to be the result of drug overdoses which remain under investigation.

Heroin, often combined with Fentanyl, and the synthetic marijuana mixture known as K2 or Spice have been most commonly associated with the local overdose emergencies.

Anyone who witnesses or is experiencing a drug overdose is encouraged to call 911 as soon as possible. Virginia has what is known as a “Good Samaritan” law, Code of Virginia 18.2-251.03, that provides defense against the prosecution of an individual reporting in good faith an overdose to a firefighter, police officer, medic/EMT or 911 dispatcher as long as that person remains at the scene until police respond and cooperates with the investigation. The law also applies to an individual self-reporting an overdose.

With multiple emergency calls coming in every week related to suspected drug overdoses, regional law enforcement and rescue personnel are encouraging local residents to take advantage of the numerous resources provided by Southside Behavioral Health — also known as Southside Community Services Board (SCSB) — and Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital.

The SCSB is located at 424 Hamilton Boulevard in South Boston and has immediate openings to provide treatment for opioid addiction. They offer medication assisted therapy on Fridays starting at 8:30 a.m. They also have counseling, case management and peer support services for individuals who would like treatment. To obtain further information and to talk with someone about available help please call 833-272-2778.

In addition to this the SCSB offers training in the use of Narcan with REVIVE! training provided to the community, with current sessions being offered through virtual courses. During September, Southside Community Services Board (SCSB) will be providing these virtual courses in the safe administration of NARCAN® (REVIVE) on three dates. These free online teleconferences will be given on Sept. 22 (4-6 p.m.) and Sept. 29 (7-9 p.m). For information on REVIVE! contact Kenan Tyner-Smith at 434-572-6916 ext. 1550.

Sentara Behavioral Health Services and Specialists, a part of Sentara Halifax Hospital, also offers a variety of services to include programs for partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, step-down, individual and family counseling, and medication management as direct services to help clients manage addiction. For additional information call 434-517-3651.

If a person fighting addiction has a criminal case pending before a court in Halifax County, they may be eligible to participate in the Halifax County Drug Court Program. This is a program designed for individuals battling addiction and facing certain criminal charges to participate in and get help in their fight against addiction to get their lives back on track. Anyone interested in this program is urged to speak with their defense lawyer about their desire to enter the program. Halifax County Drug Court is directed by the Halifax / Pittsylvania Court Services who can be reached at 434-476-1183.

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