City of Alexandria Officials Warn of Spike in Heroin Deaths

Page archived as of December 28, 2017

City of Alexandria Officials Warn of Spike in Heroin Deaths

For Immediate Release: December 14, 2017

Following a recent spike in overdose deaths in the region, City of Alexandria officials are urging residents to be aware of a strain of heroin laced with synthetic opioids.

In Fairfax County, six people died of drug overdoses in a single week. Five of those deaths are suspected of being caused by batches of heroin mixed with fentanyl and carfentanil, which are deadly even in small doses. Because of the severity of this spike and its proximity to Alexandria, residents who may be affected by opioid use are urged to take steps to protect themselves and others. While recreational use of opioids is always dangerous and illegal, City officials are especially concerned about the medical safety of the drugs, including heroin, that people in the area may currently be purchasing and using.

This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Please call 911 if you, or someone you see, is experiencing heroin overdose symptoms:

  • Extreme drowsiness or passing out

  • Weak pulse

  • Shallow breathing, or no breathing

  • Dry mouth

  • Discolored tongue

  • Bluish lips and fingers

  • Uncontrollable muscle movements

  • Gurgling noises

Naloxone (Narcan) can save the life of someone who is overdosing, if given in time. It is available without a prescription at all pharmacies. You can also obtain it for free at the Alexandria Health Department's main office (4480 King St.), from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and from 12:45 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays.  Appointments are not necessary, but may be made by calling 703.746.4996. Anyone who assists a person in need is protected by the Good Samaritan Law from liability for rendering aid.

If you or someone you care about needs help with addiction, call the City’s Substance Abuse Residential Treatment Hotline at 703.746.3400 (Virginia Relay 711), 24 hours a day.

For life-threatening situations, please call 911.

For media inquiries only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3959.

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