HCDF Logo (New)
Number 2March 8, 2012
Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness Month in Howard County

Just Say KNOW:


KNOW what is being said in Howard County: 


"My parents knew I was smoking and drinking.  If they had addressed the issue sooner, I wouldn't have ended up in jail."


Anonymous Howard County Teen



"I wish my parents had given me a drug test when I started taking their money.  They needed to ask where the money was going."


Anonymous Howard County Teen



"I took drugs because I lacked self-esteem as a teen."


Anonymous Howard County Teen




"HC DrugFree plays an essential role in community wide efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, assist families in accessing critical treatment, counseling and support services, and educate our children to make healthy life choices. Only by working together - schools, agencies, and community - can we realize a drug free future for our children. I am proud to be a partner."


Ellen Flynn Giles

Howard County Board of Education Member and Parent




"It only takes one bad decision to ruin your life, the lives of your family members, and/or the lives of innocent others. There is no amount of fun or excitement related to drugs or alcohol worth that risk."    


Parent and 7 Year Proud Supporter of HC DrugFree




"In two decades of work with adults and adolescents, I have seen the pain and devastation inflicted by addiction. Problems with drugs usually begin in early adolescence and this is where prevention is key. HC Drugfree's valuable efforts to educate and encourage conversation about youth drinking/drug use are an important part of reducing this scourge in Howard County. HC Drugfree pursues a vital mission and I fully support it."


Michael Malone,

Asst. Director of The Kolmac Clinic   


Collision Avoidance Training

for Teens


Friday, March 23, 6-9 p.m., and Saturday, March 24, 7:45 a.m.-2 p.m., James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville.

Defensive driving and vehicle control program for teens adapted from law enforcement training. For newly licensed drivers who want more specialized experience in evasive maneuvers, emergency braking, backing, skid recovery and more. Classroom lessons on Friday followed by behind-the-wheel training on Saturday. For ages 16-19. Must bring a car. Cost: $95. Space is limited. Leave a message to register: 410-313-3758.


CAT Dates 2012: March 23/24, April 20/21, May 18/19, June 29/30, July 20-21, August 17/18, September 14/15, October 19/20, November 16/17, December 7/8


Upcoming Events

March 2012


Latino Health Fair/

Feria de Salud Latino
Saturday, March 10, 2012
12:00 - 4:00
Wilde Lake Interfaith Center


Kick Butts Day

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kick butts and quit smoking today!


HC DrugFree/HoCo Film Festival

Winners announced

Friday, March 23, 2012

Johns Hopkins APL

more info


"Senior Week"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 7:00pm

Wilde Lake High School

James Rouse Theater

more info


"Senior Week"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 7:00pm

Mt. Hebron High School


more info


April 2012


HC DrugFree Teen Advisory Council (TAC) Meeting

Monday, April 16, 2012

more info


National Take-Back Initiative

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Several Locations around Howard County

more info


May 2012


HC DrugFree Teen Advisory Council (TAC) Meeting

Monday, May 7, 2012

more info


June 2012


Howard County Men's Health Fair

Saturday, June 9, 2012,

10:00am - 2:00pm

Howard High School

Join Our Mailing List


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Become a
of HC DrugFree 
 for as little as $25 for an individual, $50 for a family or a non-profit, $100 for a business.


Become a


of HC DrugFree

for as little as $500.


Howard County Joint Proclamation
On Monday, March 5, 2012 at the County Council legislative session, the County Council presented HC DrugFree with a Joint Proclamation from the County Executive and the County Council declaring March 2012 as HC DrugFree's Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness Month.

Dr. Calvin Ball, Greg Fox, Chairperson Mary Kay Sigaty, HC DrugFree's Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Vice Chairperson Courtney Watson, Jennifer Terrasa

Click on document to read 
HC DrugFree Awarded Contract to Provide Substance Abuse Prevention Services


Dr. Peter Beilenson, Howard County Health Officer, Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director, HC DrugFree, M. Dudley Greer, Director, Howard County Health Department's Bureau of Substance Abuse Service.
In December 2011, HC DrugFree was awarded a contract to provide substance abuse prevention services on behalf of the Howard County Health Department's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. By way of this contract, Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director of HC DrugFree will serve as Howard County's Prevention Coordinator. 
Medication Disposal Event - National Take Back Initiative
Drug take back day  
Saturday, April 28
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Eight locations around Howard County. Drop off unused or unwanted medications and drugs at police district stations in Ellicott City and Scaggsville, as well as satellite offices in Harper's Choice, Long Reach, North Laurel, Oakland Mills, Owen Brown and Wilde Lake. Free, anonymous and no questions asked. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines accepted. No syringes.


For exact locations and directions visit www.hcpd.org

Ask Someone Who KNOWS

 1) Can a School Resource Officer (SRO) give a breathalizer?


Yes, an SRO can give a student a breathalizer if they have probable cause. If a student has a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher, they are "in possession of alcohol," and therefore breaking the law. A student can refuse a breathalizer. However, the SRO can then take action based on their observation of the student's physical and behavioral state. If there is no probable cause, then an SRO would not give a breathalizer...in other words, there are never any random breathalizers given.


2) Are students required to have a substance abuse assessment before returning to school after a suspension based on possession or distribution of illegal drugs or alcohol?


Any student suspended for possession or distribution of illegal drugs or alcohol must have a Substance Abuse Assessment by a licensed addictions counselor before returning to school. Moreover, the student must follow all suggestions given by the counselor, and it is the school staff's responsibility to follow up on whether or not this is occurring. Parents can choose their own counselor, but a list of resources is provided to students and parents whenever a suspension occurs. This list includes the names of agencies that provide substance abuse assessment and intervention services. For more information, visit http://www.hcpss.org/board/policies/policies_9000.shtml and click on Policy 9230.


Information provided by: The Office of Student Services, HCPSS


How do I KNOW if my son or daughter is using drugs?
Knowing for sure can sometimes be difficult, but if you have become suspicious, there probably is a valid reason for concern. Typically parents underestimate their own children's risk and are likely to ignore warning signs for long periods of time. Some "warning signs" are so indicative of drug use that they can be considered almost diagnostic. These would include finding drugs and/or drug paraphernalia and witnessing acute intoxication. A child's explanation that he was holding the drugs for someone else or that you found out about the first and only time she used are viewed as clich�s for a reason; they are almost never true.


Using drugs is like driving over the speed limit. The actual odds of getting caught each time you do it is low, therefore those who get caught tend to be habitual, repeat offenders. Likewise, the more you do it and do not get caught, the more risks you take. Eventually you do get caught.


I like to categorize warning signs for drug use into confirmatory (high), indicative (moderate), and suggestive (low). These are some of them.


Confirmatory (high): Confession, positive drug test


Indicative (moderate): finding drugs, witnessing acute intoxication, drug using friends, wearing drug themed clothing, jewelry, etc.


Suggestive (low): a change in behavior or attitude, depression or other mood symptoms, a change in grades or school attendance, stealing or borrowing money, a change in friends or social isolation, loss of interest in hobbies/activities, a change in sleep (increase or decrease).


Many of the suggestive warning signs are also warning signs for depression and other psychiatric disorders. Psychiatric disorders often occur together with substance abuse and the two problems make each other worse.


The best advice is to trust your instincts, confront your child about your suspicions, and facilitate appropriate evaluation and treatment. Few children are falsely accused, and a child who is using drugs is likely to use your love for them to deflect suspicion by showing more indignation and anger than the child who really is falsely accused.


Joseph M. Schwartz, M.D., Clinical Director and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Howard County General Hospital


This is not to be construed as specific medical advice.


KNOW if it's a MYTH or FACT

Myth Alcohol isn't as harmful as other drugs.
FACT Alcohol increases your risk for many deadly diseases, such as cancer. Drinking too much alcohol too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can kill you.

Myth Drinking is a good way to loosen up at parties.
FACT Drinking is a dumb way to loosen up. It can make you act silly, say things you shouldn't say, and do things you wouldn't normally do (like get into fights).

Myth Drinking alcohol will make me cool.
FACT There's nothing cool about stumbling around, passing out, or puking on yourself. Drinking alcohol also can cause bad breath and weight gain.

Myth All of the other kids drink alcohol. I need to drink to fit in.
FACT If you really want to fit in, stay sober. Most young people don't drink alcohol. Research shows that more than 70 percent of youth age 12 to 20 haven't had a drink in the past month.1

Myth I can sober up quickly by taking a cold shower or drinking coffee.
FACT On average, it takes 2 to 3 hours for a single drink to leave the body. Nothing can speed up the process, not even drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or "walking it off.