County Observes National Prevention Week and Fentanyl Awareness Day

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Provided by Prince William County Community Services

Fentanyl is everywhere, and the use of the synthetic opioid in Prince William County mirrors the national problem with the drug that is many times more potent than heroin. May 9 is Fentanyl Awareness Day, set aside to raise awareness of the dangers of opioids such as fentanyl.

In the U.S., fentanyl is involved in more deaths among people under 50 than cancer, heart disease, suicide, homicide and accidents, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“We are seeing the presence of fentanyl in the greater Prince William County just like across the country,” said Prince William County Community Services Behavioral Health and Wellness Supervisor Heather Martinsen. “The danger with fentanyl is its potency. Other drugs and pills are being contaminated with fentanyl; people may not know it and might be ingesting something that can kill them.”

Community Services, at 7969 Ashton Avenue in Manassas, offers several services to help people who are using drugs, their friends and family or anyone in the community interested in learning about the dangers of opioid overdose.

“We have Naloxone training here at Community Services, so people can call Community Services at 703-792-7800 or walk in. We can do a short training with them, and then we’ll give them the Naloxone nasal spray,” Martinsen said of the nasal spray that reverses opioid overdoses. “We also hand out fentanyl test strips so people who are using can test their drugs for the presence of fentanyl, and that way they know the potency and if it’s potentially deadly.”

“Another initiative we have started is our Community Services Resources for Recovery. We have increased the availability of information and resources and access to services. We offer open hours at Community Services for anyone interested in obtaining information, resources or questions to come in Mondays (West CS office) or Wednesdays (East CS office) from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. We have staff available to talk to people about our services, give out Naloxone and the fentanyl test strips and help them with other recovery options.”

Community Services will offer its REVIVE-Opioid Overdose Recognition and Response Training virtual meeting on May 9 to help people who might know someone who comes into contact with fentanyl.

National Prevention Week, May 7 to 13, is a week of education opportunities where communities work toward preventing substance abuse and helping people achieve positive mental health.

“It’s a week-long observation focused on preventing addiction, mental illness, suicide and promoting well-being,” said Martinsen.

Community Services will hold several events throughout the week. Visit Community Services for a complete listing at

One event will feature planning for prevention in the county and community members are invited to provide input.

“The Prevention Coalition is having a Prevention Planning Day at McCoart on May 10. Members will highlight prevention efforts and encourage community members to learn about prevention,” Martinsen said of the Prevention Coalition of Greater Prince William, focusing on substance misuse. “Community Services will also ask people for ideas for services, projects and programs that people would like to see implemented across the Greater Prince William area.”

Community Services encourages people to take advantage of programs aimed at prevention during National Prevention Week.


Comments are closed.