March is HC DrugFree's  
Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness Month  
in Howard County 

Every June thousands of high school graduates from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other places, converge on Ocean City, Maryland for a week long celebration free of parents, structure and rules. Every year during this time teens are arrested, cars are impounded, tickets are issued and alcohol induced fights and assaults occur. Every year during this time parents are dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night to pick up their kids, bail them out of jail or meet them at the hospital.
HC DrugFree's "Senior Week: Staying Safe in Ocean City" program is designed to give parents and students the information they need in order to enjoy a SAFE week at the beach. Ocean City Police Department Corporal Howard Caplan will speak to the parents and teens about underage drinking and drug laws, signing leases, inspecting rental units for damage, calling home frequently and other issues he has seen in his years with the Ocean City Police Department. Caplan will talk to the audience about how OCPD increases its numbers during that time, how something as small as jaywalking can earn a citation, and also how unnecessary it is for the teens to have a car with them at the beach. James McVey, a Sergeant with the Ocean City Beach Patrol and Howard County teacher, will discuss beach and ocean safety, including drinking on the beach. He will use his years of experience with the Beach Patrol to tell them simple things like to use enough sunblock, to the more difficult things like how to identify rip currents and how to get out of one. 
At HC DrugFree we realize that Senior Week is a tradition for many in the area. The information given at the program is not aimed at dissuading parents from sending their children, rather it is aimed at making it a safe week for the teens, and a worry-free week for the parents. Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. is the LAST opportunity to see this program this year. We encourage all parents who are considering allowing their teens to go to Senior Week to attend this program with their teens.


Joan Webb Scornaienchi
Executive Director, HC DrugFree
Howard County Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator
Free information pamphlets available
If you would like to receive any of the free pamphlets below, please email your name and address and the names of the pamphlets to and we will send them to you.   


Save the Dates


March 19 - Kick Butts Day - For information on free smoking cessation programs through the Howard County Health Department, please visit:


March 20 - Senior Week, Staying Safe in Ocean City - 7:00 p.m. River Hill High School, 12101 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD. Many Howard County high school seniors participate in the Maryland tradition of going to the shore for "Senior Week". Having so many unsupervised teens in one place can lead to dangerous situations, risky behavior, and trouble with the law. Before deciding whether or not to permit your child to go to Ocean City for Senior Week, find out the facts from Ocean City Beach Patrol Sergeant (and Mayfield Woods Middle School teacher) James H. McVey, IV and Ocean City Police Corporal Howard Caplan as they offer advice to keep teens safe. Parents are encouraged to bring their high school senior to this informative program. Program co-sponsored by HC DrugFree and River Hill High School PTSA.

March 21 - HoCo FilmFest - 7:00 p.m. Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd., Laurel, MD. Come celebrate as the winning films are shown, including BOTH of the HC DrugFree category winners.

March 28 - RHHStival - 7:00 p.m. River Hill High School, 12101 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD. Come hear local bands as they perform on stage.

April 3 - What You Need to Know About Teen Partying - 7:00 p.m. Glenelg High School, 14025 Burntwoods Rd., Glenelg, MD. The panel of speakers will include: young people who will share their experiences with drugs and alcohol, Glenelg's School Resource Officer Steve Willingham, and former River Hill High School parent Nancy Dankos, who will share her story of how partying cost her son his life. This is a powerful event that you won't want to miss. Program co-sponsored by HC DrugFree and Glenelg High School PTSA and River Hill High School PTSA.

April 7 - Teen Advisory Council Meeting - 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. The Barn in Oakland Mills, 5853 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD.

April 26 - National Drug Take Back Day - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Start collecting expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines for proper disposal. Keep them out of the hands of youth and our water supply. Convenient drop-off locations are listed at For more information contact Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director of HC DrugFree, at or 443-325-0040.

April 26 - Needle, Syringe, EpiPen Collection - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. HC DrugFree's office, Wilde Lake Village Center 10451 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia, MD. Stuck with hypodermic needles, syringes or EpiPens and don't know what to do with them? Bring them to HC DrugFree's Office, which  serves as the ONLY collection site for proper disposal of such items, on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information contact Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director of HC DrugFree, at or 443-325-0040.
HC DrugFree Partners
Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services * Howard County Health Department * Howard County Library * Howard County Police Department * Howard County Public School System * PTA Council of Howard County * YOU, members of the Howard County Community
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HC DrugFree
Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director

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