There has been a spate of drug overdoses among young people in Arlington in recent months. including two fatal overdoses from fentanyl. A heavily-attended assembly to advocate for funding for prevention efforts and especially for increased after-school activities was convened by VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) and ASHPA (Arlington Schools Hispanic Parents Association). Particularly moving testimonies and a call for help were made by Luz Rodriguez, the mother of Jorge Chavarria Rodriguez, a teenager who died from a fatal overdose, and from Marina Cura, a Wakefield High School student sharing her own struggles and making a plea for mental health support for our youth.
Janeth Valenzuela of ASHPA, County Board members Takis Karantonis and Maureen Coffey, Arlington school board members Mary Kadera and Bethany Sutton, plus numerous faith and community leaders spoke about how to move forward.
There is additional coverage of the event in an article in the Washington Post.