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REVIVE! is the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) program for the Commonwealth of Virginia. REVIVE! provides training to professionals, stakeholders, and others on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of naloxone (Narcan ®).  REVIVE! is a collaborative effort led by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) working alongside the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Health Professions, recovery community organizations such as the McShin Foundation, OneCare of Southwest Virginia, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia (SAARA), and other stakeholders.

For information on upcoming REVIVE! trainings, visit the Events tab at the bottom of the page. 

Virginia has been severely impacted by opioid abuse, particularly the abuse of prescription drugs. In 1999, the first year for which such data is available, approximately 23 people died from abuse of fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone (the leading prescription opioids abused, commonly referred to as FHMO). By 2013, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 386 individuals died from the abuse of FHMO, an increase of 1,578%, with fentanyl being the primary substance fueling this increase. In 2013 alone, there was an increase of more than 100% in deaths attributed to fentanyl use. In 2013, as before in 2011, drug-related deaths happened at a higher per capita level (11.0 deaths per 100,000) than motor vehicle crashes (10.1 per 100,000).


The 2013 data provides evidence of other disturbing trends in Virginia, including a sharp rise in heroin deaths. In 2010, only 49 deaths in Virginia were attributed to heroin use. By 2013, that figure had risen to 213, an increase of 334% in only four years, while cocaine deaths remained relatively level.


The changes in drug-related deaths in Virginia in 2013 are not limited to which substances had the greatest impact. The geography of the opioid epidemic in Virginia is shifting as well. In past years, the Western portion of Virginia typically accounted for approximately one-third of drug-related deaths in any given year. In 2013, for the first time since these records have been maintained, the prevalence of drug-related deaths was spread evenly over the Commonwealth, as the Eastern region of Virginia saw an increase of more than 51% in drug-related deaths in a single year, from 2012 to 2013.

Naloxone, a prescription medication, is an opioid antagonist drug that reverses the effects that opioids have in the brain. When a person overdoses on opioids, the opioid overwhelms specific receptors in the brain, slowly decreasing respiration and heart rate before finally stopping it altogether. Naloxone has a very high affinity for these receptors and effectively pushes the opioid off of the brain receptor. This action allows a person’s body to resume respiration and respiration. Naloxone has been used for years by emergency medical technicians and emergency room doctors to reverse opioid overdose emergencies. Outside of this singular purpose, naloxone has no effect on the body, and poses no danger to anyone who accidentally administers it to themselves or someone else.

Naloxone is a proven public health response to the epidemic of opioid overdose emergencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that since 1996, when the first program to distribute naloxone to Lay Rescuers (REVIVE!’s terminology for community members who have been trained on naloxone administration) was implemented, 152,283 persons received training on administering naloxone. Those individuals have saved 26,463 lives by administering naloxone to individuals who were experiencing an opioid overdose emergency.

The following entities and associations support the expansion of naloxone access programs (click on the name for more information):

Please view the tabs below for more about REVIVE! If you need further information, you can send an email to


    • Chris Atwood Foundation:  The last Wednesday of each month - click here to register
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
    • Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare: Beginning in DECEMBER - 2nd Wednesday of each month from 6:30-7:30pm, 611 McDowell Ave. Roanoke Va., 24012.  Click here to connect to their website. 


  •  Richmond: Monday, December 5th 4:30-7:00pm.  Gayton Library Meeting Room - 10600 Gayton Rd, Henrico, VA 23238.  Register here.




***NEW*** - International Overdose Awareness Day - In communities nationwide, first responders, police officers, and community members are saving lives every day by using the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone. For International Overdose Awareness Day, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen and Montgomery County (MD) Police Chief Thomas Manger recorded a video (click here) about how to administer naloxone and how it can save lives so people can get the treatment they need.

Law enforcement agencies gradually embrace anti-overdose drug - Roanoke Times Article.

 Virginia Governor attends RAM Health Clinic:  Virginia Governor attends RAM Health Clinic; also a group from DBHDS  was on hand to provide more than 300 samples of the overdose drug Naloxone or Narcan.

Virginia Pharmacists Association (VPhA)
Click here for VPhA's protocol when prescribing and dispensing naloxone.

PATH Foundation Grant Equips Warrenton Police with Overdose Medication - The PATH Foundation has awarded a $2,500 "Make It Happen" grant to the Warrenton Police Department to fund the REVIVE! Project.

Virginia Department of Health Professions Announcement - This communication released by the Board of Pharmacy provides more information for pharmacists about expanded access to naloxone in the Commonwealth.

REVIVE! Pharmacy Dispensing Brochure - This brochure is designed for pharmacists to distribute along with naloxone. It includes information about opioids, opioid overdose emergencies, and how to administer naloxone.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 29, 2015 - This edition of the MMWR covers a number of topics, including the report "Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone to Laypersons — United States, 2014." This report was generated from the data that collected in the 2014 National Naloxone Survey, including updated data showing that as of June 2014, there are now 644 local take-home naloxone programs in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and a total of 26,463 drug overdose reversals using naloxone, after having trained and provided naloxone to 152,283 people. This portion of the report starts on page 631.

Report on the Pilot Program for Opioid Overdose Reversal (REVIVE)
Pursuant to House Bill 1672 from the 2013 Legislative Session, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services prepared this report, which provides more information about the development and implementation of Project REVIVE in the Commonwealth.

Incorporating Overdose Prevention, Response and Experience into Substance Use Disorder Treatment
This guide, produced by the Illinois co-Occurring Center for Excellence, discusses how the topics of past and future overdose can be incorporated into substance use disorder treatment in order to enhance outcomes.

NASADAD Fact Sheet on Opioids
This fact sheet provides an overview of opioids, including their scope of use, a discussion of evidenced-based cost-effective treatment options, and other information.

SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Toolkit
This toolkit offers community members and local governments tips and tools for developing policies and practices to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. It comprises five separate booklets, each designed for a specific audience (patients, prescribers, first responders, community members, and survivors and family members).

Bureau of Justice Assistance's Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit
The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit is a clearinghouse of resources to support law enforcement agencies in establishing a naloxone program. The Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit was developed at the urging of the Attorney General in response to the growing opioid overdose epidemic.

Spotlght on REVIVE
REVIVE program spotlighted in Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Boards' newsletter "Beacon"


These are the bills that have been filed for the 2015 Virginia General Assembly Session that are relevant to REVIVE! Click on the bill number for more information.

  • HB 1427Death caused by controlled substance; penalty. 
  • HB 1458Naloxone; administration in cases of opiate overdose. 
  • HB 1500Safe reporting of overdoses. 
  • HB 1833Law-enforcement officers; administration of naloxone. 
  • SB 892Safe reporting of overdoses. 
  • SB 1186Naloxone; administration in cases of opiate overdose.