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Alexandria Police seeing spike in opioid overdoses in local children

Recently confiscated small, round, pale blue counterfeit pill with tin used for inhalation, image courtesy Alexandria Police Department

The Alexandria Police Department and city officials are warning locals about an uptick in overdoses linked to pills laced with fentanyl.

“City of Alexandria officials warn the community about a recent spike in suspected fentanyl-related overdoses, especially in school-aged youth who report using a ‘little blue pill’ they believed was Percocet,” the city said in a release. “Illicit drugs are often laced with fentanyl, an inexpensive substitute that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be deadly.”

Police said two juveniles died of an overdose in a neighboring jurisdiction from the same type of pill.

“Most juvenile cases reported involved either smoking or ingesting a ‘blue pill’ that is being sold as a Percocet pill,” said Captain Monica Lisle, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division at the Alexandria Police Department, in the release. “There were two reported overdose deaths of juveniles last week in a neighboring jurisdiction involving this same type of pill, so we are doing all we can to warn youth and other community members of the resources available to combat this epidemic. We are asking for the public’s help in understanding the prevalence of opioid overdoses, how they can be prevented, and to speak with youth regarding the dangers of all illicit drugs, particularly these ‘little blue pills’.”

The Alexandria School Board is set to decide Thursday (May 5) on carrying Nalaxone, or Narcan, as an emergency medication to be given to students in the event of an opiate overdose.

The warning comes after four were arrested in Prince William County with fentanyl-laced Percocet pills and as Alexandria City Public Schools is considering adding overdose treatment drug Narcan to schools.

“Between April 1 and May 1, twelve opioid overdoses were reported in the City of Alexandria, six of which occurred in persons under the age of 17,” the city said. “None of these overdoses resulted in a fatality and many of the victims were revived by first responders equipped with Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal medication. Since the start of 2022, 30 opioid overdoses have been reported in Alexandria. Of these, two people died in January of confirmed fentanyl overdoses.”

Police said the counterfeit pills carry an imprint of a capital M to mimic an authentic M30 tablet.

According to the release:

The City has resources available to help combat the opioid epidemic, including Narcan, a safe, easy-to-administer nasal spray that is available in Virginia without a prescription. Narcan can be obtained at no charge from the Alexandria Opioid Work Group’s Mail Out program by emailing [email protected] and at the Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.). Narcan is also available at most pharmacies throughout Alexandria.

For life-threatening situations, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information regarding the illegal sale of opioids or other drugs, please call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6277.

If you or someone you care about needs help, please call 703.746.3400 to speak with staff at the Department of Community and Human Services. Treatment for opioid use can be accessed by calling the City’s Opioid Treatment Program intake line at 703.746.3610 and detox services can be accessed by calling 703.746.3636. Additional treatment options can be found at samhsa.gov or by calling 800.662.HELP (4357).

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