RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Twenty One, establishing the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Opioids and Addiction. As the opioid and addiction overdose epidemic continues to take the lives of too many Virginians, this group of stakeholder experts has been brought together to advise the administration and provide guidance to state-level initiatives.
“It’s essential that we draw upon the knowledge and experience of experts and community partners from across Virginia to in order to develop policies and interventions that will reduce the impact of addiction in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “While this group will primarily focus their efforts on the opioid crisis, I also want to ensure that we are addressing all of aspects of addiction that are affecting our friends and neighbors, no matter the substance.”
The Advisory Commission is a multidisciplinary, bipartisan group composed of 27 individuals from across Virginia appointed by Governor Northam. The group will be asked to meet throughout the upcoming year to continue to provide their input and feedback until the Executive Order expires.
“As Virginia bolsters resources to address this epidemic through federal funding grants and the upcoming expansion of Medicaid, we want to ensure that we are using those resources in the most effective ways and building on the progress that our state agencies have made on this issue over the past few years,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, M.D.
“We rely on our local leadership and a diverse group of stakeholders to help us make the right interventions,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, who co-Chaired the previous Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse during the McAuliffe Administration. “We’ve had a longstanding partnership between my office and the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources on this issue, and I look forward to continuing that work alongside our Advisory Commission.”
Secretaries Carey and Moran also co-Chair the Governor’s Executive Leadership Team on Opioids and Addiction, a state-level working group of executive branch agencies that has outlined a five-pronged approach to ending the overdose epidemic in Virginia: abuse prevention, harm reduction, supply prevention, treatment and recovery, and justice-interventions. The Advisory Commission has been tasked with reviewing this approach and providing suggestions and direction on various initiatives.
The Advisory Commission will hold its first meeting today, September 28, at 1:00 pm in the Pocahontas Building on Capitol Square. Subsequent meetings will be announced and posted to the Commonwealth Calendar and are open to the public.