City of Alexandria Encourages Residents to Dispose of Unneeded Medications During National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, October 24, and Year-Round

Page archived as of October 25, 2020

City of Alexandria Encourages Residents to Dispose of Unneeded Medications During National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, October 24, and Year-Round

For Immediate Release: October 19, 2020

The City of Alexandria encourages residents to safely dispose of unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those prescribed by veterinarians, during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, October 24. Residents have several options, including permanent drop-off locations and methods to dispose of medication safely at home.

As required by state and local mandates, face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth at all collection sites, and participants must remain at least 6 feet apart from others who do not live together.

A special collection will take place on October 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the following drop-off sites staffed by the Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff's Office:

  • First Baptist Church (2932 King St.)

  • Police Department (3600 Wheeler Ave.)

  • Fire Station 210 (5255 Eisenhower Ave.)

  • The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray (2204 Mt. Vernon Ave.)

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.

For safe medication disposal at home, the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria is promoting the availability of free Deterra drug disposal pouches from October 1-31. Request a free pouch online.

If you do not have access to a drug disposal kit, 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.

Please note that no needles are accepted during the take-back event or at the 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 2019, the City collected 1,671 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.

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

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact or 571.384.5244, Virginia Relay 711.

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