May 2, 2019 

In This Issue:
Update on the Opioid Public Health Crisis: Working with many county and private partners, Fairfax County has been able to accomplish a lot, but there is much more to do. While overdose deaths decreased in the first three quarters of 2018, it is too early to say it is a trend and the County's efforts with the opioid reversing naloxone may be masking the extent of the problem.

Another Successful Spring of Teen Job Fairs: This year's five fairs were attended by over 1,500 students, with 100 different participating employers, most of whom came to multiple fairs. For this year's fairs, I was excited to partner with local professionals to host new workshops that help students navigate getting a job.
Other Upcoming Events : (Scroll Below)
  •  May 4 - FREE Document Shredding at WS Police Station
  • May 13 - Fairfax County Hosts Grant Writing Workshop
  • May 19 "Pups and Pints" 5k Race and Promo for Charity
  • May 29 - Lee Chapel Road Walkway 'Pardon our Dust' Meeting
  • June 24 - Fairfax County Parkway Widening Design Public Hearing
Update on the Opioid Public Health Crisis
Since my last update in January, there have been many new county efforts underway to combat the opioid public health crisis. Working with many county and private partners, Fairfax County has been able to accomplish a lot, but there is much more to do. While overdose deaths decreased in Virginia and in Fairfax County in 2018, it is too early to say it is a trend and the County's efforts with the opioid reversing naloxone may be masking the extent of the problem. Fentanyl deaths have continued to increase. 
Last Saturday, April 27th at the West Springfield Police Station, I organized an opioid update press conference that brought together the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) and the Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) to share these efforts with the public and give an update on what efforts have already been made.
I wanted to share with you the recap and updates below from this press conference and invite you to watch it via YouTube.  
  • Support for additional funding to address the crisis: The Board appropriated additional resources to address the crisis including $3.6 million in carryover funds and $1.47 in FY 2019 funding after approving the Opioid Task Force Plan in January of 2018. The FY 2020 budget which was passed on Tuesday includes an additional $2.8M to further fund the plan. These funds are being used in a variety of programs to educate the public and raise awareness of the opioid epidemic, expand drug disposal and monitoring programs, expand and enhance treatment programs including medical detoxification services and medication assisted treatment, provide Substance Abuse Prevention programing in schools, and support law enforcement in addressing the crisis.
  • Worked with the Fairfax County Police Department to get drug take back boxes in police stations across the county: Over 75% of heroin users started with prescription drugs, once hooked they move onto heroin when they can no longer afford expensive pills. I proposed Drug Take Back boxes in our police stations to allow people to anonymously drop off unused prescription medication. This program was piloted at the West Springfield police station in September 2017. These boxes have collected over 735 pounds of unused prescription medication. The program continues to be very successful and is now County wide. On the day of the press conference, the West Springfield Police Station collected over seven large trash bags full of unused prescription medication.
  • Worked with the Board of Supervisors and County Attorney to hold opioid manufacturers accountable: I've worked with the Board of Supervisors and the County Attorney to file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to hold them accountable for the significant impacts caused by the manufacturing and marketing of drugs with a highly addictive component.
  • Leading the effort to return drug counselors to our high schools: In past years, I've met with high school principals, who said that one of the budget cuts that significantly impacted them was removing the county-funded CSB drug counselors from schools. Much like the FCPD School Resource Officers (SROs), placing the drug counselors in the schools allowed them to develop relationships with students and better learn what is going on in the schools so they can address issues head-on. I proposed returning drug counselors to schools before the Board of Supervisors after my first Town Hall on the crisis back on May 3, 2016. The county is now in the middle of a pilot program where drug counselors have been returned to seven county high schools.  
  • Worked with Delegate Tim Hugo on passage of his bill to hold drug dealers accountable: This legislation which passed this session makes dealers selling opioids that result in death a felony homicide even if they are not present. I am a strong supporter of the Fairfax County Police Department's efforts to go after the drug dealers who are profiting from the addiction of others. I also support the police department and county's efforts to divert addicts into treatment when they are willing.
  • Worked with Delegate Tim Hugo to have prescription monitoring HB 1885 passed in the Virginia legislature: This bill limits the number of opioids prescribed unless there are compelling circumstances and require reporting of the information in the Prescription Monitoring Program. The growth in the total opioid death rate closely tracks the growth in opioid prescriptions.
  • Worked with State Senator Jill Vogel to require a pharmacy drug disposal program: Together with Senator Vogel, I pushed for state legislation which would increase the number of pharmacies that will take back unused prescription drugs. While this legislation was not passed, several Fairfax County pharmacies take back unused prescription drugs and/or provide disposal bags.
  • Worked in the community to raise awareness: At every civic association meeting I attend, I continue to update community members on the impact of the crisis on the county to raise awareness and educate the public. I also insured the Board gets regular reporting on heroin overdoses and overdose deaths.
  • Worked with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board's (CSB) to develop a coordinated list of where to get help: There has been a shortage of both private and public residential treatment facilities and recovery programs in Northern Virginia, and many have waiting lists. CSB continues to help residents find the necessary resources, either private or public, to get the help they need.
  • Supported Senator Sturtevant's bill on rehabilitation centers: This bill eliminated the need to provide a certificate of public need for certain projects, including rehabilitation of people with substance abuse disorders.  
  • Collaborated with Fairfax County planning and zoning staff to help increase the availability of treatment center options, including privately and publicly funded options.
  • Pushed for an inmate addiction treatment and recovery program in our jails. I encouraged the CSB and Sheriff to visit the Chesterfield jail to learn more about their successful jail programs: In February of 2019 the Sheriff and CSB implemented the Striving to Achieve Recovery (STAR) program.This program is a peer-led, voluntary addiction treatment and recovery program for inmates in our county jail.
  • Supported efforts for court proceedings with an emphasis on rehabilitation with cases involving defendants with substance abuse disorders: The Fairfax County Adult Drug Court launched in November 2018 and currently has six active participants. This program is designed to significantly decrease recidivism, which saves lives and county resources.


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Springfield Nights

5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 10, 2019
Randy Thompson Band

July 17, 2019 
The Reagan Years

July 24, 2019
The Woodshedders

July 31, 2019
The English Channel

August 7, 2019
The Colin Thompson Band

August 14, 2019
The Johnny Artis Band

Slow Down Signs

Our next batch of signs have arrived at our West Springfield Office!
Come by during office hours if you'd like one for your neighborhood.
*Limit 2 signs per individual

Since the Board first approved my April 2014 motion to direct the County Executive to provide an in-depth look at the opioid crisis, I've led the Board's response to the opioid public health crisis. In 2016 I brought together all stakeholders for a Town Hall to discuss the challenges we were seeing and formulating further response. The County now has a highly coordinated multi agency approach to dealing with the opioid epidemic that is showing results.
Both the CSB and FCPD shared at the press conference that additional funding from the Board of Supervisors to fight this epidemic has significantly and positively impacted their effo rts. The CSB shared that this year, they will be rolling out a new program that will provide free lock box es for citizens to safely store their medications. These lock boxes would prevent the number one cause of addiction: overuse of prescription drugs within the home. The CSB also shared that they will be launching a new communications campaign on May 1st to raise awareness of the prevalence of the opioid epidemic.
While the CSB and the FCPD continue to be on the front lines in dealing with the impacts of opioids in our community, the school system, the Health Department, the Sheriff's office, and other county agencies are playing critical roles. We need to continue to focus on treatment of the disease of opioid addiction by making private treatment affordable and expanding our public treatment facilities. One trend the FCPD shared on Saturday is that naloxone is saving lives in many overdose cases. In addition, we need to start looking at how to get naloxone training in our schools and ensure that we have taken every precaution to safeguard our children from this epidemic.
For more information, visit my past updates on the opioid epidemic in The Herrity Report from January 2019, January 2017, April 2016, September 2015, and September 2014 on his website at
Another Successful Spring of Teen Job Fairs:
Last Saturday morning, I hosted the final job fair in Teen Job Fair Series for this spring at Mount Vernon High School. This year's five fairs were attended by over 1,500 students, with 100 different participating employers, most of whom came to multiple fairs. For this year's fairs, I was excited to partner with local professionals to host new workshops that help students navigate getting a job, like Interviewing Do's and Don'ts, Creating a Successful LinkedIn Profile, High Demand IT Certifications, and some amazing Resume and Cover Letter Building workshops.
Many of the students I spoke with at the fairs shared how much they loved these workshops and how they were excited to hear back from the job they applied for during the fair. Participating business owners shared that they also benefitted tremendously from the fairs and many of them were able to finish their summer hiring months in advance. Next year, I'm looking forward to hosting these fairs again with even more opportunities for students. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions on how to improve them.
I want to thank all of our partners and cosponsors that contributed to the success of the job fairs - especially the Connection and Fairfax County Public Schools who provide all students with notice of the fairs. Thanks also to Supervisor Linda Smyth, Supervisor John Cook, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, West Springfield HS Student Government Association, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Supervisor Kathy Smith, Chantilly HS STEM Academy, Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Intellectual Point, Supervisor Dan Storck, South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, South County Federation, Supervisor Jeff McKay and the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce.

Other Upcoming Events

FREE Document Shredding at West Springfield Police Station - May 4, 2019


Fairfax County Hosts Grant Writing Workshop at the Government Center - May 13, 2019


Want to up your Grant writing game? Join Fairfax County for a 3-hour intensive workshop that will strengthen your ability to craft a winning grant proposal, give you insight into different types of funding opportunities, and share resources for grant writing and nonprofit capacity building.

Best Practices for Grant Writing Success seminar will be held at the Fairfax County Government Center on May 13 8:30-11:30a. It's free! Register today:

"Pups and Pints" 5k Race for Charity at Dogfish Head Alehouse - 05/19/2019  
Lee Chapel Road Walkway 'Pardon our Dust' Meeting - May 29, 2019

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is ready for construction on the project that will add a much-needed walkway to the west side of Lee Chapel Road between Burke Lake Road and Britford Drive. FCDOT and I will be hosting a "Pardon Our Dust" meeting for citizens to learn more about the project and what to expect during construction. FCDOT staff will be on hand to answer any questions residents may have. 
The meeting is set for 7 pm on Wednesday, May 29 at the West Springfield Government Center (Police Station)located at 6140 Rolling Road.
Visit the project page for more information:
Save the Date: Fairfax County Parkway Widening Design Public Hearing - June 24, 2019
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has scheduled the design public hearing for the project to widen the Fairfax County Parkway between Route 29 and Route 123.
The first phase of this project will construct an interchange at the Parkway's intersection with Popes Head Road and is funded. The second phase widens this section of the Parkway from four to six lanes and is partially funded.
The meeting will be held on Monday, June 24 from 6:30-8:30 pm in the Board Auditorium of the Fairfax County Government Center located at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.
For more information, visit VDOT's project webpage: