Confronting Heroin in Our Community

chart showing heroin overdoses

In one 24-hour period this month, there were four known heroin overdoses in Fairfax County.

Our community is not immune from the dramatic increase in heroin and opiate addiction and overdose. The federal government calls it a national epidemic.

And it is in our neighborhoods, often unnoticed.

Just like in many other communities, our first responders have seen an alarming increase in the number of heroin cases in recent months.

“The drug is very powerful…families can be ripped apart and too many families in Fairfax County know that first hand.”Peggy Cook, Community Services Board

Where to Get Help 

  • For entry and referral services to overcome drug dependence, call the Community Services Board at 703-383-8500. Our staff can help you find treatment and recovery resources.
  • In an emergency, call these 24-hour numbers: Fairfax Detoxification Center at 703-502-7000 or CSB Emergency Services at 703-573-5679.
  • If the emergency is life-threatening, call 911. Our Fire and Rescue personnel carry medication that can prevent deaths from opiate overdose.
  • Individuals using any type of opiate have priority for services and can visit our Merrifield Center for an assessment without an appointment.


By The Numbers 

  • The federal government now reports that more people die from drug overdoses each year than in car crashes.
  • In Northern Virginia, heroin-related deaths increased 164 percent (between 2011 and 2013).
  • In Fairfax County, there was a 22 percent increase in the number of people who needed services from use of heroin, non-prescription methadone, and/or other opiates (between 2011 and 2014).
  • In Fairfax County, the number of deaths from heroin overdose doubled (between 2013 and 2014).
  • Fire and Rescue Department responded to 291 suspected heroin overdoses across the county (between 2011 and 2014):

fire/rescue map of calls for suspected heroin use


What’s Being Done

Listen: Some of the strategies the Police Department is using to address heroin abuse:

And here’s our roadmap to address this national epidemic locally:

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