RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia leaders are taking action with a new PSA as fatal overdoses in the Commonwealth continue to rise at alarming rates.
Carey Colvin remembers her daughter Summer Barrow as someone who loved family and animals.
"She was a bubble, effervescent person. She was a ray of sunshine in so many ways," Colvin said.
Tragically, Colvin has been without her ray of sunshine since January 2020 when Barrow died of an overdose of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl after battling an addiction that followed a car crash injury.
"The fentanyl was so powerful that even if I had been standing next to her when she did the cocaine, I could not have saved her. That's how powerful this stuff is," Colvin said.
While Barrow is no longer here in person, she remains with Covlin in spirit as she works to raise awareness about addiction.
"You don't get a second chance with fentanyl. It doesn't exist," Colvin said.
Joining Colvin in her messaging is Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares who launched a new PSA called One Pill Can Kill. The PSA will air for the next 60 days around the Commonwealth, including on CBS 6.
"To keep our loved ones safe, we have to talk to them about the dangers of drugs," Miyares said in the PSA.
Since 2013, drug overdoses have been the leading cause of unnatural death in Virginia and have increased almost every year since. The main factor in this spike has been fentanyl, most of which is illicit.
Miyares said the PSA is part of a larger approach to accountability for those who are pushing the drugs and also helping people recover. The kick-off happened after a roundtable event at a treatment center in Norfolk.
"Especially targeting youth, it's going to be critical to have something so simple like that go hand in hand, though, I would say as an LCSW myself, something as simple as outpatient therapy," John Salay, a Chief Compliance Officer at a Chesterfield treatment center, said.
For Colvin, she said it is heartwarming to see this PSA, showing it's not a partisan issue, and she would like to see even more of them.
As the PSA encourages families to talk about the issue as they gather for the holidays, Colvin encourages people to have those talks in a judgment-free setting.
"You can't be inside somebody else's shoes, but you could possibly save their life. And patience. Love. And listen, just listen," Colvin said.
To learn more about the last overdose statistics in Virginia, click here.