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Friday, November 25, 2016

Free disposal kits available for keeping opioids out of the wrong hands

A Medsaway Pouch from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. 
The Fairfax County Health Department is distributing free disposal kits to make sure opioids and other medications don’t get into the wrong hands.

The easy-to-use kits deactivate the drugs so they can be safely thrown out along with your regular trash.

One of the places to pick up a free kit is the Health Department’s Annandale District Office, 7611 Little River Turnpike, Suite 400E (East Wing). Call ahead to confirm availability, 703-534-8343.

In Virginia, prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 44 percent between 2007 and 2015, from 399 deaths to 576, according to the Office of the Attorney General. 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.

Many users switch to heroin when opioids become too hard to get or too expensive. There were 342 heroin overdose deaths in Virginia (including 18 in Fairfax County) in 2015, a 600 percent increase from 2010.

Information and resources on heroin and opiate addiction, including where to find treatment in Fairfax County, is available from the Community Services Board, 703-383-8500.

1 comment:

  1. It's been almost a year since a dear friend and co-worker of mine died from her opioid addiction, and though many of us knew it might take her life, it's still hard to realize that someone so loving, kind, funny and generous is really gone forever. I see her smiling face in pictures and feel a sense of emptiness that I don't often feel when I look at loved ones who died in their own time. She really was stolen from us all.

    Unfortunately, there's really nothing anyone could have done to save her once the drug took over. She never was able to get out of oxycontin/oxycodone's grip, no matter how much she wanted to.

    My only advice to everyone out there--and I mean everyone--is to avoid taking opioids in the first place, if at all possible. A drug may be legal, but that certainly doesn't mean it's safe. A pharmacist might sell it to you, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to take it. A prescription may be short-term, but that doesn't mean your body will be able to give it up. Please don't underestimate the power of such substances; it can change your life--and those of your loved ones--forever.