Gov. Glenn Youngkin warned students about the dangers of fentanyl on Tuesday before he signed Executive Order 26 — a declaration he says directs state agencies to enact a “first-of-its-kind comprehensive fentanyl strategy.”
The governor took the stage after Virginia first lady Suzanne Youngkin introduced him wearing a shirt that read, “I HATE FENTANYL,” in all capital letters.
“I hate fentanyl, too,” Youngkin said as he addressed the crowd at Stafford High School on National Fentanyl Awareness Day.
While the day is aimed at educating people nationwide, Youngkin says it’s “Virginia’s day to make a stand. To make a stand and say that we’re going to do something about this, not just worry about it.”
Youngkin was blunt about the dangers of fentanyl.
“We’re talking about a drug that is killing people. And I think that is reason enough for us to come together and invest some time. See, this is not just not just a public safety issue. It’s not just a national security issue. This is a public health crisis. It’s a crisis. And that means we all got to lock arms together and go to work and fix it and fix it,” the governor said.
Youngkin said Virginia State Police have seized 42 pounds of fentanyl. “Enough to kill every single Virginian. Every single one. And that’s just what we’ve seized. And sadly, there’s probably more out there than we’ve seized.”
The governor related the story of an Arlington high school student who overdosed in a bathroom and later died in February. Youngkin credits Narcan, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses, with saving four other students.
“We gotta go to work,” Youngkin said.
The first step, he says, is being trained on how to use Narcan. The crowd he was speaking to had been trained. “That’s huge. You can be an example to your family and your friends, get them trained.”
Youngkin says he signed eight bills Tuesday morning “to bring together a collective approach to addressing this crisis.”
Youngkin signed another on stage, Executive Order 26, to “crush the fentanyl epidemic. Crush it.”
The order “directs state agencies to enact a first-of-its-kind comprehensive fentanyl strategy in three key areas. First, prevention and treatment. Second, public safety and drug interdiction. And third, reorganization of government and data collection so that we can get the job done. This executive order shall be effective upon its signing. … Let’s go to work.”
Featured photo courtesy WUSA9/YouTube
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