SAPCA Encourages Residents to Use Permanent Medication Drop Boxes This Week

Page updated on Jan 29, 2021 at 10:36 AM

SAPCA Encourages Residents to Use Permanent Medication Drop Boxes This Week


Permanent Drop Box SM ImageJanuary 29, 2021--To kick-off the new year, the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) encourages residents to clean out home medicine cabinets and safely dispose of medications this week. Unused, unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those prescribed by veterinarians, can be disposed of at one of three local permanent drop boxes in Alexandria.

Permanent medication drop boxes provide residents with year-round access to medication disposal. Alexandria also hosts drug take back events twice a year in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back Days; the next event is scheduled for April 24, 2021.

The following locations offer secured permanent drop boxes for medications year-round:

  • 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’s entrance and next to the cashier’s window), available daily 1-5 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.

If you are unable to visit a permanent drop box, 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 before disposing in the trash.

Please note that no needles are accepted during take-back events or at permanent drop boxes.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, and opioid prescription drugs are of particular concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 68% of the more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid.

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 promote a place where people can live healthier and economically productive lives while reducing their impact on the environment. In 2020, the City collected 1,027 pounds of unused medication at drug take back day events and year-round permanent drop boxes.

Visit for more information about safe medicine disposal and Alexandria’s efforts regarding the opioid crisis.