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Southwest Virginia representatives to visit White House for opioid crisis conference

Southwest Virginia representatives are headed to the White House on Friday discussing the growing public health crisis of opioids. (WCYB)

Southwest Virginia representatives are headed to the White House on Friday discussing the growing public health crisis of opioids.

Delegate Todd Pillion of Abingdon and Lori Gates-Addison from the Appalachian Substance Abuse Coalition will be in the nation's capitol for the conference on the best practices for combating the opioid epidemic.

They are among around 100 other local and state officials in health care, law enforcement, and drug control.

Pillion says so far, Virginia has taken steps in the right direction to begin reducing the issues around drug addiction.

"Virginia has definitely been a leader in how we've gone about combating the opioid epidemic. We've seen prescriptions decrease by 150,000 over a three quarter period," Pillion said.

Pillion said he will be listening to other states to see if there are new ideas he could introduce for possible legislation in next year's General Assembly session.

"I'm hoping to see if any other states have their better ideas or have seen better successes from pieces of legislation that they've passed in their states. I feel like Virginia is a leader, but any time we can learn from the better practices from other states and other leaders throughout the country, I think that's a good thing," Pillion said.

Pillion serves Governor Ralph Northam's executive team on opioid addiction.

That team will host its inaugural meeting this weekend to begin drafting policy initiatives.

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