August 2019 
Highlights & Annoucements
Alexandria Hosts 6th Annual Youth Leadership Conference

Over 30 students attended the 6th annual Youth Leadership Conference hosted by SAPCA and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) August 12-14.This free event for rising 9th - 12th graders  trains   young leaders and  connects   them with opportunities to become more civically engaged in the Alexandria community. Workshops presented included:
  • "Tackling Oppression in Your Community.
  • "Building Awareness and Safety." 
  • "Right to Advocate." 
  • "Diversity in Alexandria and the 2020 Census."  
  • "Financial Planning for Your Future."
For the second year in a row, this conference was hosted and facilitated by ACAP's Youth Peer Educators.  The second day of the conference included an afternoon networking session with youth leadership opportunities in Alexandria. During the last day of the conference , youth participated in City-wide planning efforts in Alexandria by tackling issues that affect Alexandrians, including substance use and abuse, mental health, youth empowerment, and educational disparities. 

#FactOfTheMonth: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

What are opioids?
Opioids are a class of highly addictive drugs that include prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, and illegal drugs like heroin. However, addiction is not always the cause of an overdose. Overdoses can happen to a patient recovering from surgery or injury; a teenager experimenting with illegal drugs for the first time; or a child who ingests leftover medication from a home medicine cabinet.

Why is prevention important?
As in many communities throughout the country, the national opioid epidemic poses a significant threat to public health and safety in Alexandria.  According to the CDC , more than 42,200 people died due to opioid overdoses in 2016, with an average of over 115 people dying every day.

What can I do?
  • Know the Symptoms 
    • Symptoms of an opioid overdose may include pale face, limp body, bluish lips or nails, vomiting or gurgling, drowsiness or unconsciousness, slow breathing or heartbeat, or muscle spasms. If an overdose is suspected, call 911 immediately. 
  • Attend a Narcan Training. 
    • The City offers monthly REVIVE! training sessions to teach the public how to spot an opioid overdose and reverse it using the life-saving medicine Narcan (naloxone). Participants receive a free medical kit that includes Narcan upon the completion of training. For training dates and additional details, visit 
  • Get Narcan
    • Narcan is available for free at the Alexandria Health Department ( 4480 King St.), Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 12:45 to 4:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary, but one can be made by calling 703.746.4888. Narcan is also available without a prescription at all pharmacies. 
  • Participate in Drug Take Back Days. 
    • Residents are encouraged to prevent drug misuse and overdoses by disposing of unused prescriptions safely during Drug Take Back Days, which occur throughout the year and are posted in the City events calendar. The next Drug Take Back Day will occur on Saturday, October 26, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
    • Unwanted medicine can also be dropped off year-round at the following permanent drug d
      rop-off boxes:
      • The Neighborhood Pharmacy (2204 Mt. Vernon Ave.), Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
      • Inova Alexandria Hospital (4320 Seminary Road), in the visitor's lobby, next to the cashier's window; daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
  • Learn about Treatment Programs. 
    • Information from the City's Opioid Work Group about substance use disorder treatment resources and programs is available at The City's Treatment Court uses a best-practice approach that combines substance use treatment with judicial oversight and monitoring to help participants achieve and maintain recovery and live law-abiding lives. 
  • Learn about Additional Addiction and Overdose Resources. 
    • The City's Department of Community and Human Services can help locate treatment options in Alexandria for anyone dealing with addiction, and is available 24 hours a day at 703.746.3400 (Virginia Relay 711). To get help stopping the use of heroin or other opioids, call the Opioid Treatment Program intake line at 703.746.3610.
  • Report Illegal Drug Activity. 
    • To provide information regarding past overdoses or any illegal drug activity, please call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6277.
Have an idea for our next #FactOfTheMonth ? Email Emma Beall at
SAPCA Featured on DMV Spotlight

This month, SAPCA Chair Allen Lomax and SAPCA Coordinator Emma Beall were featured on ESPN 630 AM - The Sports Capitol's DMV Spotlight!  This program features local stories from the DC, Maryland, and Virigina area that inform, enlighten, and inspire you. 
Click here to listen to Allen and Emma discuss SAPCA's work.
Surgeon General Releases Advisory on Marijuana's Damaging 
Effects on the Developing Brain 

On August 29, 2019, Surgeon General Vice Adm.  Jerome M. Adams, issued an advisory emphasizing the importance of protecting youth and pregnant  women from the health risks of marijuana use.

"There is a false perception that marijuana is not as harmful as other drugs. I want to be very clear - no amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is known to be safe," said Surgeon General Adams.

Marijuana, or cannabis, is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a component of marijuana, binds to receptors in the brain, producing euphoria and a variety of potentially harmful effects, including intoxication and memory and motor impairments. Newer strains of marijuana have also shown to be increasingly more potent, leading to other risks like anxiety, agitation, paranoia and psychosis. 

Click here to learn more about this advisory. 
Mark Your Calendar - Upcoming Events
  • Project Sticker Shock: Saturday, October 19

  • Drug Take Back Day: Saturday, October 26

  • Red Ribbon Week: October 23 - 31

  • National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week: January 21 - 24

  • Kick Butts Day: Wednesday, March 18
Alexandria Comes Together to Create a Trauma Informed Community Network

In Virginia, Kids Count Data Center reports that 19 percent of children have experienced two or more adverse childhood  experiences (ACEs) that negatively impact their health and well-being-with multiple ACEs associated with detrimental  long-term impacts.
Examples of ACEs include experiences of living in a household with issues occurring like divorce, mental illness, incarceration, alcohol or other drug use disorders, violent behavior or economic hardship. To raise awareness of the adverse effects of ACEs and other traumas and work towards building resiliency, more than 20 communities across Virginia are coming together across disciplines and collaborating to form trauma informed care networks (TICNs)-Alexandria included, which recently formed Resilience Alexandria: Inform. Support. Elevate (RAISE).
While TICNs take different forms unique to each community, common characteristics include:
  • increase awareness of trauma and adverse childhood experience
  • advance trauma-informed practices and policies at the local and state levels
  • help organizations become trauma informed
  • exchange information, tools and resources
  • work together to build a stronger, more resilient trauma-informed community
These networks, which are based on the needs and strengths of each individual community, help to connect practices across disciplines, identify gaps and inform policy implementations. DCHS is the backbone of Al¬≠exandria's emerging TICN, bringing together representatives from a wide range of systems, including government agencies, nonprofits, faith-based communities, community members, private providers and boards and commissions.
The Children and Youth Master Plan's (CYMP) new Healthy Minds Work Group coordinated a kick-off event in May, and on July 25, 41 people representing 21 different organizations and programs across the city attended the first Alexandria TICN meeting. After a brief orientation to trauma networks and ACEs, participants discussed the sources and symptoms of trauma that are unique to Alexandria, shared trauma-informed and responsive efforts already occurring across the city, and identified key elements to include in RAISE-such as the need for training, building and sharing lists of resources for referrals, updates of local trauma-informed efforts, and networking opportunities.

In the upcoming months, network members will work to design the structure and agenda items for RAISE and develop "champions" to lead work groups to carry the work forward. CYMP Coordinator Chelsea Eickert, who is co-coordinating the TICN effort with Center for Children and Families Di¬≠rector Stacey Hardy-Chandler, is excited by the opportunities to align the efforts of so many different organizations and programs-which comes at a good time for CYMP, which is in the process of developing its next five year plan. "Both CYMP and RAISE are building networks, bringing people across sectors to address trauma and foster community resilience," she says. "So instead of creating two sets of work groups to do the same thing with the same people, as a backbone coordinator for both, I can help ensure the two entities are aligned and sustained with an integrated model." For example, explains Eickert, the CYMP's new plan is framing itself around preventing ACEs and building protective factors, and RAISE can help implement strategies to support trauma informed and asset building efforts within the Plan. "RAISE presents the opportunity for other programs that want to jump on board with implementing trauma-informed practices and building assets to coordinate efforts where our work and efforts are shared," Eickert says. RAISE meetings are every 4th Thursday of the month.
For more information about RAISE, visit For more information about Virginia's TICNs and the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia, visit
If you want to learn more or become involved in advancing and supporting trauma-informed and trauma sensitive practices in the community, email to be added to the RAISE email list.
Special Education Advisory Committee Seeking Members

SEAC, the Special Education Advisory Committee, one of the School Board advisory committees is looking for additional new members. The majority of SEAC members are people with disabilities or parents/family members of children with disabilities. The role of SEAC is to advise the ACPS School Board on matters pertaining to the education of students with disabilities.  It is an opportunity to participate in the development of priorities and strategies for meeting the identified needs of children with disabilities. The committee meets on a monthly basis.  To apply to SEAC, click on the School Board tab on the ACPS website, and then go to "committees."  Click on "Apply to  School Board Advisory Committee" and scroll down to Special Education Advisory Committee."   
Upcoming Community Events
Save the Date: Community Parent Support Groups 

The Community Parent Support Group is a safe and supportive meeting place for parents to ask questions, get answers, and discuss topics related to youth and families. This free program will be offered in English and Spanish at the following sites this fall:

  • William Ramsey Recreation Center (5650 Sanger Avenue - Alexandria, VA)
    • September 12 and October 10; 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe Street - Alexandria, VA)
    • September 26 and Thursday, October 24; 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
For more information, contact Percy White at or visit
TC Williams Fall Sports are Underway

There are many fall sports underway including cross country, field hockey, football, golf, and volleyball. Please click here to view the fall sports schedule for schedules of all games, meets, and matches and support your fellow student athletes and community.

You can also purchase tickets for varsity football games at the St. James using this link, G eneral admission tickets are $6 each. The T.C. Williams Athletic Office will have f ield level seats and t-shirt packages (which include premium seating) available soon. For more information, please call the Athletic Office at  703-824-6860.

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