ALEXANDRIA, VA – The City of Alexandria encourages residents to safely dispose of unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those prescribed by veterinarians, during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 22. Residents have several options for disposal, including designated collection sites during the event, permanent medication drop-off locations, a permanent needle disposal box and methods for disposing of medication safely at home.
A collection will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the following drop-off sites staffed by the Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office:
- Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center (2729 King St.)
- Alexandria Police Department Headquarters (3600 Wheeler Ave.)
- Fire Station 210 (5255 Eisenhower Ave.)
- The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray (2204 Mt. Vernon Ave.)
The following locations offer secure permanent medication drop boxes for year-round disposal:
- The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray (2204 Mt. Vernon Ave.), available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Inova Alexandria Hospital (4320 Seminary Road, inside the visitor entrance and next to the cashier window), available daily, 8 a.m. -11 p.m.
- Alexandria Police Department (3600 Wheeler Ave., inside the front entrance, ring bell for access); available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Needles are not accepted during the take back event or in the permanent medication drop boxes that provide year-round disposal. Dispose of needles and syringes in a separate designated permanent drop box at Inova Alexandria, accessible at the same location and hours as the hospital’s drop off box for medications.
For safe medication disposal at home, the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria is promoting the availability of free Deterra drug disposal pouches available for pick-up at the Alexandria Health Department, located on the fourth floor of the Redella S. “Del” Pepper Community Resource Center at 4850 Mark Center Drive.
If you do not have access to a drug disposal kit, follow these steps:
Check medication bottles for instructions on proper disposal.
- If no instructions are present, remove medication from its original container. Do not crush tablets or capsules.
- Mix medication with an undesirable, inedible substance, such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
- Place mixture in a sealable bag or container and throw away in the trash.
- Black out all personal information on the prescription label so it is unreadable.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, especially opioid prescriptions. In 2022, the City collected 1,886 pounds of unused medication at drug take back day events and from year-round permanent drop boxes, a 42.3% increase in the amount of medication collected in 2020. Since 2010, over 13,500 pounds of medication have been collected and disposed of safely through take back day events and from year-round permanent drop boxes.
Drugs are also an environmental hazard to waterways and should never be flushed down the toilet. Drug take back days and permanent drop boxes help support the goals of the Eco-City Alexandria initiative to ensure that people can live healthier and economically productive lives, while reducing their impact on the environment.
Visit alexandriava.gov/SAPCA to learn more about ways to prevent substance use and misuse. Visit alexandriava.gov/Opioids for more information about Alexandria’s efforts to fight the national opioid epidemic.