Culpeper Wellness Foundation awarded $5000 in August 2018 to support the efforts of Community Resources United to Stop Heroin (CRUSH). The grant awarded to CRUSH will be used to implement the short-term goals of the organization’s committees focused on treatment, education, and prevention. Efforts will include printing and distribution of community resource flyers, educational and promotional materials, and bringing education and outreach directly to area parents and students.

CRUSH was established in November 2016 to bring federal, state, public and private resources in Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Madison, and Orange counties together to address the opioid/heroin epidemic. In 2016, three counties under the CRUSH umbrella – Culpeper, Fauquier and Orange – were at the forefront in opioid deaths and mortality rates. Culpeper had 14 deaths with a 28.0 mortality rate, Fauquier had 18 deaths with a 26.1 mortality rate and Orange had 10 deaths and a 28.1 mortality rate.

The organization’s primary mission is to reach community residents before they use opioids/heroin and to guide users to get the help they need to live a healthy life. CRUSH involves schools, law enforcement, treatment providers, community leaders, faith-based organizations and health care organizations in this mission.

According to CRUSH board chairman Sean Polster, “Our biggest success to date, from my perspective, has been the collaboration of multiple stakeholders that have come together to share their resources and time. They’ve collectively worked to directly impact a drug epidemic the likes of which our communities have never seen. In over thirty years in emergency services, I’ve never seen that. We are extremely grateful for the grant supporting the outreach and education goals of this collaborative effort.”