Drug Disposal Kits Available at Health Department Offices and Other Locations

Pouches make it easy to safely dispose of unwanted prescription pills

November 18, 2016 

Back of drug deactivation pouch showing instructions for disposalFront of drug deactivation pouchCounty residents with excess or unused prescription opioids or other medications can pick up a drug disposal kit at any of the Health Department’s clinics or through the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board’s REVIVE! classes, while supplies last.

National surveys show most adults who use opioids expect to have leftover medications, and many users of prescription pain pills admit to getting them from friends and relatives.

Through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Office of Attorney General (OAG) and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, about 80,000 of the kits are being distributed through local health departments, pharmacies, law enforcement agencies, community service boards and nonprofits across the Commonwealth to combat prescription drug abuse — a major public health crisis.

Kits are available at no charge, but residents are encouraged to call ahead to confirm availability. A map of distribution sites shows where kits can be found in Virginia.

Each year, more Americans die from drug overdoses than in traffic accidents, and more than three out of five of these deaths involve an opioid. In Virginia, prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 44 percent between 2007 and 2015, from 399 deaths to 576, according to the OAG. There is also a strong link between misuse of opioids medications and later use of heroin, as prescriptions become too expensive or hard to get. Heroin overdose deaths in Virginia have risen more than 600 percent between 2010 and 2015, from 48 to 342. There were 18 such deaths in Fairfax County in 2015.

“To address this growing epidemic, we need to make our community more aware of the dangers of misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and heroin and their connection to each other,” said Fairfax Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu.

“Safely storing and disposing of excess prescriptions to prevent abuse and misuse is one strategy in a multifaceted approach to the opioid crisis that involves government, health care providers and individuals.” 

Individuals who request a kit will be able to use it at home to safely and effectively dispose of their old or expired prescription medications. The three-step process is easy to follow and renders the drugs inactive, allowing them to be safely disposed of in your normal trash. For a demonstration video on how the biodegradable pouches work, go to http://bcove.me/no2xnajv.

Fairfax County Health Department will make the kits available for the general public at its administrative office and at all five clinic locations. Kits will also be available for clients enrolled at its three Community Health Care Network pharmacy sites. 

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) is also offering the kits to REVIVE! PDF icon class participants. To date, more than 800 people have attended this free one-hour training on administering Naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose.

"Reducing opioid addiction is an essential aspect of our overall prevention efforts," said Patricia Harrison, Fairfax Deputy County Executive of Health and Human Services (HHS). "Through HHS agencies such as the Health Department and CSB, we will continue to support the well-being of all in Fairfax County by offering opportunities for residents to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs. This is one step everyone can take to prevent opioid and heroin issues in our community."

For information and resources on heroin and opiate addiction, including where to find treatment in Fairfax County, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/csb/heroin-opiates or call 703-383-8500, TTY 711. For statewide resources, visit http://vaaware.com

The Fairfax County Health Department will have kits available for the public at these locations (please call ahead to confirm availability): 

Annandale District Office
7611 Little River Turnpike
Suite 400E (East Wing)
Annandale, VA 22003
703-534-8343, TTY 711 

Herndon-Reston District Office
1850 Cameron Glen Drive
Suite 100
Reston, VA 20190
703-481-4242, TTY 711 

Joseph Willard Health Center
3750 Old Lee Highway
Fairfax City, VA 22030
703-246-7100, TTY 711 

Mount Vernon District Office
8350 Richmond Highway
Suite 233
Alexandria, VA 22309
703-704-5203, TTY 711

Springfield District Office
8136 Old Keene Mill Road
The Cary Building - Suite A100
Springfield, VA 22152
703-569-1031, TTY 711 

Kelly Square Administrative Office
10777 Main Street
Suite 203
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-246-2411, TTY 711


    John Silcox
    Public Safety Information Officer
    Fairfax County Health Department
    703-246-8635, TTY 711


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