Seven opioid overdoses, one fatality in Alexandria

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By Duncan Agnew | dagnew@alextimes.com

Seven opioid overdoses — including one that resulted in a fatality — occurred within a week, the city announced in a news release Friday.

Alexandria Police Department Senior Public Safety Information Officer Crystal Nosal reported that the lone death occurred at approximately 2:40 a.m. on Aug. 3 in the 5800 block of Quantrell Avenue.

Nosal said three recent cases involved victims who thought they were using a non-opioid drug that, ultimately, caused an opioid overdose. Nosal said the police department is investigating all overdoses and referring victims to treatment centers.

Enrollment in the cityrun Opioid Treatment Program remained fairly consistent between Fiscal Year 2017 to Fiscal Year 2018, with slightly more than 60 percent of those reporting opioid abuse enrolling in the program each year.

The Opioid Treatment Program falls under the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services umbrella and offers both in-patient and out-patient services.

“In FY18, we have seen an increase in the number of people coming to the Alexandria Residential Treatment Center who have an opioid use disorder,” Alexandria Director of Clinical and Emergency Services Liz Wixson said in an email.

Wixson said staff have reported an uptick in the number of opioid use disorder patients at the treatment center within the last few months. Wixson indicated that’s a sign that the department’s partnership with the Alexandria Police Department is working.

APD now notifies the treatment center every time an overdose occurs in the city.
The Alexandria Health Department is offering free counseling and Narcan, which is used to treat symptoms of an overdose, at its office at 4480 King St. The department is open 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.

Anyone seeking help with an opioid addiction can reach the Alexandria Opioid Treatment Program intake line at 703-746-3610.

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