Opiate Awareness Community Day held at I.C. Norcom High School

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — An Opiate Awareness Community Day event was held at I.C. Norcom High School on Thursday.

The City of Portsmouth’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare Services sponsored the event.

A panel with a Drug Enforcement Agency officer, a doctor and a peer specialist discussed the impact the drugs can have on families and their future.

“The demographics have really changed. It used to be adults and it is now with the youth. It started with ages 13 to 24, and so it has increased like 200 to 300 percent with children using opiates,” said Elaine Brethwaite, the Director of Behavioral Healthcare Services.

Brethwaite says she wants to get the word out about resources to help fight the opioid epidemic.