After a spike in opioid overdoses this weekend, the Arlington County Police Department is urging residents to take advantage of local substance abuse resources.
On Sunday, ACPD investigated two fatal overdoses and one overdose that left another person in critical condition, according to a news release.
Police said they suspect the overdoses are linked to heroin and prescription painkillers mixed with fentanyl.
“This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation,” the release said. “Due to the severity of these incidents, members of the public who may be affected by addiction or opioid use are urged to take steps to protect themselves and others through available resources in Arlington.”
This year, Arlington first responders have administered nasal Naloxone, also known as Narcan, 31 times to reverse an overdose from prescription painkillers or heroin, according to ACPD.
“Narcan is available over the counter without a prescription,” the release said. “Arlingtonians can request free Narcan and REVIVE (Narcan) training by emailing the Department of Human Services.”
The epidemic continues to ravage Arlington County. After a downturn in 2018 and 2019, last year saw a resurgence in opioid-related overdoses, according to a new ACPD report. The dozens of reported overdoses in 2020 matched the number (74) reported at the peak of the opioid epidemic in 2017.
Officers investigated 20 fatal overdoses and 54 non-fatal overdoses in 2020, more than any other year since it began actively tracking incidents involving opioids in 2014, the report said.
Officials previously told ARLnow that the pandemic is likely to blame for much of the resurgence.
“There are a lot of reasons why people have relapses,” said Suzanne Somerville, the bureau chief for Residential and Specialized Clinical Services in DHS. “A lot of it does have to do with employment. A lot of our clients… work in the service industry and a lot of them lost their jobs.”
While the battle against addiction continues within the county, Arlington is suing dozens of businesses it alleges are key players in the epidemic. The suit, which seeks $150 million plus punitive damages of $350,000 per defendant, is currently mired in a squabble over where the case should be tried.
More information on overdoses, from the press release, below.
Signs of an Overdose
If you observe someone experiencing the following overdose symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately:
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Dizziness or confusion
- Cold or clammy skin
- Vomiting or gurgling
- Blue lips and/or fingernails
- Not responsive or sleeping and cannot be woken up
- Deep gurgling or rattling snore
Arlington County first responders carry Nasal Naloxone (also known as Narcan®), a safe and effective medication that can reverse an overdose from prescription painkillers or heroin. Narcan is available over the counter without a prescription. Arlingtonians can request free Narcan and REVIVE (Narcan) training by emailing the Department of Human Services.
Key Contact Information
Programs and Services
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there are numerous treatment resources available in Arlington and through the Department of Human Services. Assistance is also available through Operation Safe Station, a designated safe environment where individuals wishing to seek help with their drug use can self-report and receive services, without fear of prosecution and incarceration. Community members are also encouraged to prevent medication misuse or overdose by safely disposing of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medication in one of Arlington’s four permanent drug take-back boxes or by requesting a free deactivation bag.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A local nonprofit specializing in job placement for disabled individuals is drawing on federal funding to expand its services.
This column is written by the team at Arrowine & Cheese (4508 Cherry Hill Road). Sign up for the email newsletter and receive exclusive discounts and offers. Order from Arrowine’s expanding online store for curbside pickup…
An Arlington teen of the same name as an 18-year-old convicted in a recent high-profile case has been arrested after allegedly fleeing from police.
Sometimes mold is easy to spot, but you don’t know how deep inside your walls it has spread. It can grow in sinks, cabinets, and other places you frequent every day. If you find mold, the question remains: Do I call a professional? Thistle Environmental, LLC believes in quality, comprehensive testing.
CALL NOW: (703) 929-4036
WOW 1 DAY PAINTING brings people a fast, affordable, and high-quality solution for all of their interior or exterior residential and commercial painting projects. We respect your time as much as you do and provide the quality paint job you expect, in a timeline that is unexpected.
Schedule a consult today:
T. (202) 845-7899
Experience through film the beauty of our relationships to cats. This unique film is a compilation of shorts with a feline theme which premieres every year in New York City and then travels to venues across the United States. This