City Collects 442 Pounds of Unwanted Medications

Page updated on Apr 30, 2021 at 1:18 PM

City Collects 442 Pounds of Unwanted Medications


PillsApril 30, 2021--The City of Alexandria collected 442 pounds of unused and expired medication during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 24.

Special collections took place at four locations in Alexandria during the event, which provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription and over-the-counter medication. The collections are made possible through collaboration between the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria, the Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Alexandria Fire Department, First Baptist Church, AlexRenew and the City’s Opioid Work Group.

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 70% of the more than 70,630 drug overdose deaths in 2019 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.

Residents can dispose of medication year-round by visiting one of Alexandria's three permanent drop box locations 

  • 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.

Inova Alexandria Hospital also installed a new permanent drop box for the safe disposal of needles and syringes. The needle drop box is located in the same location as the permanent medication drop box (see above). Needles are not accepted at permanent medication drop boxes or during drug take back events.

For safe disposal at home, a drug disposal kit is recommended. If one is not available, residents should follow the following steps:

  • Check medication bottles for any instructions on proper disposal.

  • If none 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 a secured trash can.

  • Black out all personal information on the prescription label so it is unreadable.

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