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County Responds to Rise in Drug Overdoses with Drug-Take Back Event

Prescription drugs (Photo by Freestocks/Unsplash)

The county will be offering safe disposal of unused prescription drugs later this month as opioid overdoses rise in Arlington.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Arlington County Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will offer contactless, drive-thru drug disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at police department headquarters (1425 N. Courthouse Road) and Fire Station No. 5 (1750 S. Hayes Street). It’s part of a nationwide effort by the DEA.

This disposal service is free and anonymous. Officers will remove items from cars as participants drive by, and there will be a separate drop-off area for cyclists and pedestrians.

Police say this is an “opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.”

The event comes amid a historic spike in fatal overdoses. ACPD reports that there have been more overdoses in 2021 than in any year since the county started tracking cases in 2014.

“That’s why it’s more important than ever that members of the public take advantage of this potentially lifesaving program as well as other treatment resources available in Arlington County and through the Department of Human Services,” the release said.

Participants can drop off tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Vape pens and other kinds of e-cigarettes, with the batteries removed, will also be accepted. The locations will not accept liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes, other sharps and illegal drugs.

For those unable to attend the event, Arlington County has four permanent drug disposal boxes available at the following locations:

  • Fire Station 2 (4805 Wilson Blvd)
  • Fire Station 5 (1750 S. Hayes Street)
  • Fire Station 9 (1900 S. Walter Reed Drive)
  • Arlington County Police Department (1425 N. Courthouse Road)

More than 7,000 pounds of prescription drugs have been safely disposed of since these sites were set up in 2018, according to police.

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