‘It Only Takes One’ campaign expanding statewide following success in Roanoke

The campaign focuses on educating parents to then educate their children on the dangers of fentanyl

ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia’s First Lady and its Attorney General are ready to begin phase two of a fentanyl awareness campaign launched in Roanoke earlier this year.

Since its launch back in January, hundreds of people in Roanoke have signed the “It Only Takes One” campaign pledge to talk to a teen or child in their life about the dangers of fentanyl.

“We’ve had more than 600 persons sign that pledge here in Roanoke alone. So we’re really seeing the message penetrate some of our very most important communities and we’re thrilled,” Suzanne Youngkin said.

Attorney General Jason Miyares said it’s only a matter of when, not if, a child is offered something laced with the drug.

“And they’re never offered fentanyl. It’s always a Percocet, a Xanax, an Adderall — your child always thinks they’re taking something else, something counterfeit,” Miyares said.

Virginia is starting to make progress in the fentanyl crisis. According to the Virginia Department of Health, fentanyl overdoses in Roanoke and statewide were down in 2023 compared to 2022.

One of the goals of the campaign is to focus around kids.

“Big tech has made it so easy now for your child. Your child no longer goes out under a street corner to perhaps buy drugs. Now it’s just delivered to their home, often through the same social media apps that we all understand and we all know,” Miyares said.

When the multimedia campaign was launched, Roanoke had the highest concentration of overdose deaths of any metropolitan area in Virginia. And while the city and the Commonwealth have more work to do, First Lady Suzanne Youngkin said state and local efforts are working.

“We will continue to travel to communities with this message. We’re also going to look to anoint local leaders to take this message and spread it in their communities and it will be statewide,” Youngkin said.

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