Addiction Task Force
Standing (left to right): Michael Feinmel, Chief Tony McDowell, Chief Humberto Cardounel, Sheriff Mike Wade, Brandon Hinton, Monty Dixon, Kenny Ray Stone, Kelly Schaaf, Miller Van Fossen, Judge John Marshall. Sitting (left to right): County Manager John Vithoulkas, Laura Totty, Dr. Beth Teigen, Shannon Taylor, Chuck Rosenberg, James Comey, Sara Harman, Leslie Stephen, Dr. Susan Fischer Davis
Henrico Recovery Roundtable Full Final Report and Recommendations
Between May and December 2019, the Henrico County Recovery Roundtable explored strategies and recommendations to strengthen addiction and recovery programs in Henrico County. The Recovery Roundtable found that the institutions of the criminal justice system (including law enforcement, courts, and the jail) are struggling to keep pace with the criminal activity and recidivism that accompany untreated substance use disorder (SUD). The group concluded that Henrico County could more effectively ensure public health and safety by implementing a comprehensive, cohesive, and sustainable strategy to prevent and treat SUDs.View the Final Report
The Heroin Task Force is composed of the following representatives and their designees:
- Tony McDowell, Deputy County Manger
- Chief Eric English, Police Chief
- Dr. Danny Avula, District Health Director
- Chief Alec Oughton, Fire Chief
- Honorable Shannon Taylor, Commonwealth’s Attorney
- Honorable Alisa Gregory, Sheriff
- Laura Totty, Director, Mental Health and Developmental Services
- Dr. Beth Teigen, Henrico County Public Schools
In the spring of 2016, John Vithoulkas, County Manger appointed a Heroin Task Force to evaluate Henrico County’s current response to the Heroin/opiod epidemic. Three Questions were asked:
- What efforts are currently underway in Henrico County to address Heroin/Opioid issues? Specifically, what is each agency doing and how are we coordinating our efforts?
- Within our current funding resources, are there enhancements that can be made to strengthen our efforts?
- What are recommendations to enhance our response that require additional resources?
The Task Force met seven times. The first meeting involved sharing information by the six department heads listed above. There was a common bond and a desire to not only thoroughly understand the issues associated with this epidemic but also to problem -solve and enhance processes where possible right from the beginning. The remainder of the meetings involved consulting with fifty plus community partners and experts in the field. Through their expertise and guidance we gained understanding of the impact heroin/opioid epidemic has on our community. As a result of the Task Force’s work, specific recommendations were made in August 2016 in the following areas: prevention, treatment, communication and the criminal justice system.
Since the fall of 2016, the task force has shifted its focus from that of researching the problem, to that of addressing the recommendations one by one. In 2020 the team expanded to include a wider focus on all addiction, and was renamed the Addiction Task Force. This group meets monthly as a large group with sub-committees meeting as needed and reporting back to the larger group.
Overall the mission of the Addiction Task Force is to stop addiction related deaths in our community, and to promote treatment for the citizens that are affected by this epidemic.