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FBI Director talks heroin in Henrico

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- FBI Director Jim Comey will meet with Henrico County's Heroin Task Force Wednesday to talk about the drug's threat to Central Virginia.

Heroin and opioid abuse and addiction is growing at alarming rates, both locally and across the United States, according to law enforcement officials.

"So many people just ignore it and pretend it's going to go away, and that's just not going to happen," Henrico Sheriff Mike Wade said. "We want to make families aware of what's going on. We see people all the time say, 'Yea I thought something was going on but I didn't know,' and we want people to recognize the signs so they can reach out to try help."

Comey will be the keynote speaker at the Summit, which runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Glen Allen High School.

Comey, who was appointed FBI director in 2013, used to live in Henrico and graduated from the College of William & Mary.

From 1996 to 2001, he served as managing assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the Richmond Division of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The summit will offer information from local community service providers and include a showing of “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opioid Addict.”

The 45-minute documentary was released last year by the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The documentary provides explicit, first-person accounts of people who have either abused opioids or whose children have abused opioids with tragic consequences.

The video’s title refers to the cycle of addiction and users’ pursuit of the so-called “ultimate” high.

The video presentation will be followed by a panel discussion that will include Henrico’s Police Chief Hum Cardounel Jr., Fire Chief Anthony E. McDowell, Sheriff Michael L. Wade, Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon L. Taylor and Adam S. Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, as well as others on the front lines of the heroin and opioid crisis.

You can live stream the event here.