April 2019 Newsletter
Highlights & Annoucements
April Drug Take Back Day Recap

At the last Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, Alexandria collected 275  lbs  of unused and expired medication! During this event, the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray hosted Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Drug Enforcement Administration Chief of Diversion Control John Martin. 

"We greatly appreciate our dedicated partners who join us in fighting the opioid problem with initiatives like Drug Take Back," said Lawhorne. "Thanks to business partners like the Neighborhood Pharmacy, law enforcement leaders like U.S. Attorney Terwilliger, and our caring community, we can work together to make Alexandria safer." 

This event intends to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Studies show that drug abusers most often take prescription drugs from family and friends, often from the medicine cabinet. The collections provide an alternative to flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, which can create safety and health hazards.  Thank you to everyone who volunteered for this event and came out to drop off medication.

Couldn't make it to this event? Alexandria's second and  newest permanent medication drop box is housed at Inova Alexandria Hospital (4320 Seminary Road). This drop box is located in the visitor's lobby next to the cashier's window. Medication can be dropped off here between  5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Another permanent drop box is located at the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray (2204 Mt. Vernon Ave). Medication can be dropped off at this location during the following hours:
  • Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Interested in volunteering at our next Drug Take Back Day? Contact Emma Beall at  emma.beall@alexandriava.gov
Alexandria Celebrates Alcohol Awareness Month

This past April, SAPCA celebrated Alcohol Awareness Month with a variety of activities, including:

  • Presenting seminars about the facts and consequences of substance use to 83 students at Bishop Ireton High School. Students learned about the effects, dangers and risks associated with alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and e-cigarettes.
  • Delivering information to 25 girls involved in Space of Her Own. With the help of SAPCA Volunteer Marcia Greco, we reminded participants that drinking alcohol can harm the growing brain, which does not stop developing until age 25.
  • Conducting outreach at the Arlandria Eggstravaganza and the first Community Days Cookout to promote the Parents Who Host Lose the Most Campaign. Did you know that adults can be fined $2,500 for each young person they provide an alcoholic beverage?
  • Tabling at Minnie Howard and T.C. Williams to remind students that the majority of teens in Alexandria do not drink alcohol - a trend to get behind!

Thank you so much to everyone who engaged our community in prevention this month, especially our wonderful volunteers!
SAPCA and APD Host Drug Take Back Day Event at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

On Tuesday, April 23, SAPCA and the Alexandria Police Department participated in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's annual employee wellness day. During this event, SAPCA Chair Allen Lomax distributed over 100 drug disposal bags and nearly 120 SAPCA giveaway items. He also promoted  Alexandria's quarterly drug take back days and permanent drop boxes and shared information about how Alexandria is addressing the opioid epidemic. Six pounds of unused and expired medication were collected at this event. Thank you so much to everyone who attended this event and stopped by to learn more about our work!
April Titan Takeover Recap

On Friday, April 12, over 30 teens across Alexandria attended a spring-themed Titan Takeover Teen Night at Charles Houston Recreation Center. Students enjoyed  pizza, candy, raffles and giveaways, a DJ, dancing, and a photo booth. Stay tuned for information about our next Titan Takeover!

#FactOfTheMonth: New Marijuana Research Emerges

Previous studies have found an association between frequent marijuana use and a higher risk of psychosis. However, a new study released from the Lancet Psychiatry "shows that consuming pot on a daily basis and especially using high-potency cannabis increases the odds of having a psychotic episode later."  Marijuana's potency is based, in part, on its THC levels. THC is the main  psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The THC levels in today's marijuana are ten times higher  than marijuana cultivated in the 1970s. 

This new study builds on the mounting evidence of marijuana's adverse effects, including studies that have revealed marijuana use can:
  • Result in the loss of IQ points;
  • Affect athletic performance;and
  • Impact parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, coordinated movement, and judgement. 
As research continues to emerge alongside past and pending policies. please help spread the latest findings about the impacts of marijuana use with your friends, family and community members.

Have an idea for our next #FactOfTheMonth ? Email Emma Beall at  emma.beall@alexandriava.gov

Liberty's Promise Seeks Internship Host Sites for Youth 

Need an extra hand at your organization this summer?  Liberty's Promise is seeking local
organizations to serve as host sites for their summer internship program for T.C. Wil liams youth. 
Liberty's Promise works with immigrant high school students at T.C. Williams in an after school civic engagement and college and career readiness program. In the summer, they place students in 6-8 week internships in order to provide them with hands-on professional experience, all while providing a helping hand to organizations.   
There are no fees to either host organizations or  interns . The hourly commitment for interns is 10-20 hours per week (20-40 during the summer). Liberty's Promise:
  • Carefully screens all candidates
  • Provides job skills assistance prior to the internship
  • Offers support to interns and hosts throughout the entire process
  • Gives the interns an allowance of $100 per week (for six-eight week weeks), during the internship to cover travel and other maintenance expenses. 
Interns range in age from 15-21 years old, are highly skilled, highly motivated, and multilingual.  Please contact Mariam Abdelwahab if you are interested in helping play  a part in the professional development of Alexandria youth!

Contact Mariam at  mabdelwahab@libertyspromise.org  or (571) 353-8891.
Volunteer Opportunity Spotlight: Join SAPCA at Community Days Cookouts!

SAPCA is recruiting volunteers who are interested in connecting with families at upcoming Community Days Cookouts!  These events provide youth and their families with information about City services and programs. 

What: Hand out SAPCA information and materials to promote healthy choices and decision making at one or more Community Days Cookouts.

When and where:
  • Wednesday, May 1 at Andrew Adkins (1200 Wythe Street)
  • Wednesday, May 8 at Charles Houston (901 Wythe Street)
  • Monday, June 3 at Ewald Park (4452 Duke Street)
  • Monday, June 5 at William Ramsay (5650 Sanger Avenue)
  • Monday, June 10 at Casa Chirilagua (4100 Mt. Vernon Avenue)
  • Wednesday, June 12 at Charles Barrett (1115 Martha Custis Drive)
Time commitment: Arrive at 5:30 p.m. to set up.  Event will wrap up at 7:30 p.m.

No previous experience is required to volunteer.
If you are interested in volunteering, please email Emma.Beall@alexandriava.gov or call or text 571-302-1022.
Call for Volunteers: All-Night Grad Party

The 30th annual All Night Drug and Alcohol-Free Graduation Celebration for the T.C. Williams High School Class of 2019 will be Saturday June 15, 2019 at T.C. Williams.  Since 1989, when this tradition began at T.C. Williams H.S., there have been no drug or alcohol-related graduation night fatalities.

This fun-filled event in honor of our newly minted graduates needs parents of 8th-11th graders to make it a success. By volunteering and "paying it forward," your help ensures a great time for the grads and a well-earned rest for the graduates' parents!  Click here to sign up to volunteer.

This special party, sponsored by the T.C. Williams PTSA and made possible by the generous support of local businesses, citizens, community organizations, and alumni, sends the clear message that our community values the academic achievements of our students and cares deeply about their safety and well being.
Upcoming Community Events
Expressions: A Mental Health Awareness Workshop

In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, please come join the KeepIt360 club on May 2 from 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. Williams High School Rotunda for a series of mini workshops that address anxiety and depression. These workshops will provide opportunities to learn creative ways to manage stress through healthy coping mechanisms. This event is open to City of Alexandria youth in grades 9-12. Refreshments will be provided. Please  click here to register for this event.  
Healthy Minds Art Contest
Mental health promotion and prevention are key to helping adolescents thrive. Do you want to help raise awareness about mental health topics experienced by teens? Apply for the Healthy Minds Art Contest, hosted by the KeepIt360 club! Two winners will each receive a portable Bluetooth speaker and a $25 gift card and one winner will receive an Amazon fire stick and a $25 gift card. This contest is open to middle and high school students that live in Alexandria. Entries are due by May 10 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit preventitalexandria.org

Click here  to view the contest entry form.
Click here  here to view the contest rules.
Interested in getting involved with SAPCA?
Contact Us:
Emma Beall, SAPCA Coordinator
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria 
123 N Pitt St, Suite 225
Alexandria, VA 22314
O: 703.746.3670 
C: 571.302.1022
emma.beall @alexandriava.gov