The Opioid Epidemic campaign ran from September 2018 to January 2019. This campaign’s pages are no longer actively maintained.

Please email us at with questions or comments.


We read about it every day. A death.  A community struggling. Another desperate effort to save a life. No gender, age, or region has eluded the impact of opioid misuse, which is laying waste to generations past, present, and future. Addressing a scourge that kills over one hundred Americans a day will take heroic effort—you are invited to be a local hero by making informed decisions.

UVA Emergency Department seeks to educate the public in order to reduce the impact of this epidemic on our community and to salute citizen first responders and other heroic individuals who are working to address this public health crisis.

Key points to take away from this safety campaign are:

  1. Proper storage and timely disposal of medication greatly reduces risks relating to drug misuse and accidental overdoses.
  2. There are resources available to you for the treatment of opioid use disorder and addiction.
  3. UVA Health System is your partner for all of your health needs. If you experience a medical emergency, call 911.

Be a local hero by making informed decisions!

Prevalence of Opioid Abuse

In 2016, nearly 12 million people misused opioids and nearly 1 million of these were teenagers, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). To bring these numbers into perspective, data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that 12 million people would be the combined populations of New York City and Los Angeles and that the 1 million teenagers would be twice the population of Miami, Florida. This issue is clearly a present danger to the health of our nation. In fact, many government agencies and healthcare providers believe overdoses and opioid use disorders are under-reported and that the epidemic is actually far worse than the data currently shows.

Together for Impact

The Emergency Medicine Center for Education, Research and Technology (EMCERT) aims to address concerns relating to opioids and strives to reduce the impact of this epidemic on our community. EMCERT has partnered, with members of the UVA Department of Emergency Medicine and the UVA Health System, to provide the public with information on the opioid epidemic and medication safety as well as to highlight local heroes who provide exceptional care to the community.