NORFOLK — Old Dominion University has joined with four other universities in the state to help fight the opioid epidemic.

The Norfolk school said in a statement last week that the five universities have teamed up with Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services.

The partnership will support prevention and treatment programs. It will also collect and analyze data related to the crisis.

ODU says the partnership was sparked in part by a 2017 report from the university that dug into the economic impact of opioid addiction. For instance, it found that the impact of prescription painkiller abuse could reduce Virginia gross domestic product by as much as 1.7%.

The other schools in the consortium are the University of Virginia, George Mason University, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.

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