On Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents are encouraged to drop off unused or expired medications at any Fairfax County Police district station. Medicine must be pills or liquids only, as no pressurized canisters or needles will be accepted.
The disposal is free, confidential and safe, organizers say. Promotional materials for the event say safe handling of unused or expired medications prevents accidental poisoning, protects the environment and prevents drug abuse.
Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout is sponsored by the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County in partnership with local businesses and in collaboration with these Fairfax County government departments: Police, Health, Public and Private Partnerships, Neighborhood and Community Services, Public Works and Environmental Services, and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board.
The Reston District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department is located at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive.
Safe disposal of unused and expired medications is the goal of Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and local dropoff points are available.
The Fairfax County Police Department is encouraging anyone looking to get rid of prescription drugs to visit a district station between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. (The Reston District Station is located at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive.) Only pills and liquids will be accepted; no needles or pressurized canisters.
According to FCPD, safe handling of unused and expired medication prevents accidental poisoning, protects the environment and prevents drug abuse.
The Herndon Police Department (397 Herndon Parkway) is also asking residents to bring their medication in Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., for proper disposal. Needles and liquids cannot be accepted by HPD.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has been promoting Drug Take-Back Day for 12 years. It says studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg has said. “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”
There are many other collection sites available Saturday. Search the DEA website for more locations.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
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The dangers of heroin use — a growing problem in Virginia and nationwide — are the topic of a talk by Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring Thursday at Herndon Middle School (901 Locust St, Herndon) at 6:30 p.m.
There will be a special free screening of “Heroin: The Hardest Hit,” a documentary that explores the heroin and prescription drug epidemic and its effects on Virginians.
Herring will be joined by Town of Herndon’s Vice Mayor Jennifer Baker and Chief of Police Maggie DeBoard.
Heroin overdose fatalities in Virginia have more than doubled from 100 deaths in 2011 to 239 deaths in 2014, while an additional 547 Virginians died from prescription drug overdose in 2014, the movie materials say.
Between 2011 and 2013, every region of the state experienced an increase in heroin overdose fatalities. More Virginians were killed in 2014 by heroin and prescription opioid drug overdose than car crashes.
“There is not one corner of the Commonwealth untouched by heroin’s influence and destruction,” Herring said.
In response to this growing public health and public safety problem, Herring has launched a plan to combat heroin and prescription opiate abuse by creating and implementing partnerships and creative solutions for a complex problem.
This film is one example of the preventive and educational measures the Herring’s office is pursuing to make all Virginians — from teenagers to adults — more aware of the growing crisis involving heroin and prescription and the risks associated with dangerous drugs.
Fairfax County is no exception, where the number of drug overdoses is rapidly increasing.
Fairfax County officials said there was one day earlier this year where fire and recuse personnel was called to four overdoses in one day.
That is why Fairfax County is hosting a Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Town Hall Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. The town hall is at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. It will also be broadcast of Fairfax County Channel 16.
Heroin is a public health crisis in our community and around the nation and Fairfax County is working to address it,” Pat Herrity, Springfield Supervisor, said in a release. “The problem is in your neighborhood. It is occurring across the county, not just in “bad” neighborhoods. … Education and public awareness are important parts of combating this growing crisis. Seventy percent of heroin addicts reportedly start with prescription drugs.” (more…)
Fairfax County police stations will collect expired medications next Saturday as part of annual event encouraging people to clean out their medicine cabinets.
Fairfax police stations will collect old, used and expired drugs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 26 as part of Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout. Reston residents can drop off their used medications at the Reston District Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).
“Safe handling and disposal of unused or expired medications prevents abuse, accidental poisonings and helps protect the environment,” police said in a statement.
Needles and medications using pressurized canisters, like asthma inhalers or nasal sprays, will not be accepted.
“Disposal is free, convenient, confidential and safe,” according to the event flyer.
The event is sponsored by the United Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County and the Fairfax County government.
Fairfax County is not immune. County stats show that from 2011-14, there was a 22-percent increase in the number of county residents needing services who reported having used heroin, non-prescription methadone, and/or other opiates.
From 2013 to 2014, in Fairfax County, the number of deaths from heroin overdose doubled. The county is also seeing “heroin use trending younger.”
“Fairfax County, like other communities across the commonwealth and nation, has a major public health crisis on our hands with painkiller and heroin abuse,” said UPC President Lisa Adler. “Heroin-related deaths increased 164 percent between 2011 and 2013 in our county alone. We need all citizens to join us in preventing more tragedy that has touched our youth and young adults and countless families.”
The UPC will host a forum on April 13 called “Painkillers & Heroin: Our Community Problem.” Featured speakers include Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services William A. Hazel Jr., M.D., Fairfax County community leaders, local experts and parents.
The forum is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the FCPS Gatehouse Administration Center, First Floor Café, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042. The event is free, but registration is requested at www.unifiedpreventioncoalition.org.
Hazel, a physician, serves as the co-chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse and will he the event’s keynote speaker.
Panelists include Kathy Briggs, who will share the story of her 21-year-old son’s death; Jesse Ellis, Fairfax County NCS prevention manager; Sgt. Jim Cox, Fairfax County Police Department narcotics officer; Maria Hadjiyane, Inova Behavioral Health Adult Ambulatory Care, director; and Dr. Husam Alathari, Inova CATS (Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Services) Program medical director; and a local college student in recovery. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Among those available to questions: Don Flattery, a member of the Governor’s Task Force; Paul Cleveland, FCPD Commander of Organized Crime and Narcotics; representatives from the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board; and other community leaders working on the Fairfax County opioid addiction prevention plan. Also participating will be Ginny Atwood of the Chris Atwood Foundation, which was formed in memory of her brother who battled addiction for six years.
For more information, visit www.unifiedpreventioncoalition.org.
Photo illustration courtesy of UPC
Eugene Asomani Williams, also known as “Shine,” 35, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Friday for conspiring to distribute heroin and possessing a firearm in furtherance of this offense. Prosecutors said at least three people died in Fairfax County as a result of heroin distributed by Williams.
“Williams peddled a dangerous drug and inflicted untold damage to the victims, their families, and our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente. “This case exemplifies the cooperative efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement to combat this pernicious crime.”
Williams pleaded guilty on Jan. 22 of this year to conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In a statement filed with the plea agreement, Williams admitted to distributing more than one kilogram of heroin in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia between 2004 and Sept. 26, 2013.
Williams also admitted that Joshua Pearson, 33, of Fairfax County; Timothy Huffman, 23, an active duty soldier at Fort Belvoir; and Kara Schachinger, 22, of Fairfax County. all died as a result of using heroin distributed by Williams, said Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.
“I have heard firsthand from families about the devastation brought by the loss of a loved one in this wave of heroin-related deaths, and about the strain placed on law enforcement and healthcare professionals as they work to respond to it,” Herring said in a statement.
“Education, prevention and treatment will play a major part in dealing with this emerging threat, but I will also ensure that my office is doing all it can to keep these dangerous drugs, and those who distribute them, off the streets.”
Huffman, Pearson and Schachinger did not know each other, The Washington Post reported. They are linked only because they purchased drugs from Williams.
According to the Post, Williams sold throughout the D.C. area, generally charging $100 for a gram of heroin and meeting customers in the parking lots of gas stations, restaurants and churches, court records show. Schachinger and Huffman met Williams in person to buy their last doses; Pearson got his through a friend, the records show.
“Fairfax County is safer today thanks to the robust partnerships between local, state, and federal law enforcement” said Fairfax County Police Chief Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. “Today’s sentencing is proof positive these partnerships work against drug traffickers and others who set up criminal enterprises in our region.”