February 2021 Newsletter
Announcements & Upcoming Events
Resolve to Safely Dispose of Medication

To kick-off the new year, SAPCA encourages residents to clean out home medicine cabinets and safely dispose of medications. Unused, unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those prescribed by veterinarians, can be disposed of at one of three local permanent drop boxes in Alexandria.

Permanent medication drop boxes provide residents with year-round access to medication disposal. Alexandria also hosts drug take back events twice a year in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back Days; the next event is scheduled for April 24, 2021.

The following locations offer secured permanent drop boxes for medications year-round:
  • The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray (2204 Mt. Vernon Ave.), available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Inova Alexandria Hospital (4320 Seminary Road, inside the visitor’s entrance and next to the cashier’s window), available daily 1-5 p.m.
  • Alexandria Police Department (3600 Wheeler Ave., inside the front entrance, ring bell for access), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are unable to visit a permanent drop box, follow these steps:
  • Check medication bottles for instructions on proper disposal.
  • If no instructions are present, remove medication from its original container. Do not crush tablets or capsules.
  • Mix medication with an undesirable, inedible substance, such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
  • Place mixture in a sealable bag or container and throw away in the trash.
  • Black out all personal information on the prescription label so it is unreadable before disposing in the trash.

Please note that needles are not accepted during take-back events or at permanent drop boxes.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Opioids for more information about safe medicine disposal and Alexandria’s efforts regarding the opioid crisis.
SAPCA Board of Directors Hosts First Meeting of the Year

On January 21, the SAPCA Board of Directors met virtually during the group's first Board meeting of the year where they welcomed newly elected members. After reviewing orientation materials, the Board examined SAPCA's most recent action plan and discussed marijuana-focused bills that have been proposed during the 2021 Virginia General Assembly. During future meetings, Board members will work together to determine specific priorities for the next three years.
Policy Highlight: SAPCA Members Monitor Proposed State Legislation

Each year, the Virginia General Assembly meets to create, amend and pass laws for the Commonwealth of Virginia. This year there are bills about marijuana legalization in the House and the Senate. Since November 2020, SAPCA members have worked to ensure preventing youth use and access of marijuana is a key component of legislation presented.

Are you interested in supporting SAPCA's efforts to track and analyze prevention policy issues? Contact Emma Beall at emma.beall@alexandriava.gov to join SAPCA's Policy and Advocacy Committee.
Alexandria High School Students Present Teen Leadership Workshops

On the second Tuesday of each month, the Youth Services Coordinating Council brings together representatives from youth serving organizations throughout the City of Alexandria to share ideas and offer their perspectives about working with youth. With the transition from in-person to virtual youth engagement, this group began brainstorming how to create space for teens to share their voices and engage with caring adults in their community. A suggestion to host a series of free, virtual, and interactive workshops, presentations, and forums for youth emerged and the planning process began.

On January 30, 2021, the first workshop series for teens was hosted virtually by
T.C. Williams High School students Delilah Garvin, Amy Akintola and Lyndsi Cooper. During these workshops, participants learned about embracing imperfections, leadership, and networking. Click here to view a recording of the workshop.

Garvin, Akintola and Cooper serve as youth peer advisors, Alexandria high schoolers who are employed by the City’s Counselor Aide program and mentor and support hundreds of elementary school students.

Stay tuned for information about future workshops, presentations and forums hosted for Alexandria youth.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Every February, youth, young adults and their loved ones join together to raise awareness about the issue of teen dating violence through Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. To show support for healthy relationships, the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program encourages individuals to wear orange on February 9.

Dating violence is more common than people think, especially among teens and young adults; one in three U.S. teens will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with before they become adults.

To learn about early warning signs of dating violence click here.
DASHing Words in Motion Poetry Contest Now Accepting Submissions

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Transit Company join forces for the 2021 DASHing Words in Motion poetry contest. Applications are open to writers and poets ages 16 years or older who live, work, or study in Alexandria. Winning poems will be displayed on DASH buses and trolleys during National Poetry Month in April 2021. The deadline for online submissions is Friday, February 12, 2021, at 5 p.m.

Now in its eighth year, DASHing Words in Motion is an opportunity to bring literary arts and poetry into everyday life. Inspiration might stem from the Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH buses motto “Keep Alexandria Moving,” or bus stops, neighborhoods, buses, cars, roads, or transportation. Other modes of transportation in the region will also be considered. Click here to learn more about the contest, view the application and apply.
Visit alexandriava.gov/Arts to learn more about literary programs and Alexandria’s poet laureate.
Register for the 19th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Festival

Registration is open for the 19th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Festival. This virtual event, hosted by the Alfred Street Baptist Church, will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Individuals considering, curious about, or planning to attend an HBCU are encouraged to attend. Over 70 colleges and universities will be represented virtually and many will conduct on-site interviews, offer instant admission and waive application fees. There is a $5.00 registration fee to attend. Click here to register for this event. 
Register for Virtual Forum "Coping with Grief & Loss"

Join the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia (SPAN) on Monday, February 22 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. for a virtual conversation about the journey through grief. During this event, Allyson Drake, Executive Director of Full Circle Grief Center, will share healthy ways to process loss and grieve. Participants will also learn about a variety of resources to help children, adults, and families navigate the grief process. Click here to register for this event.
Peter Williams Memorial Scholarship Accepting Applications

Applications are being accepted for the Peter Williams Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is open to high school seniors currently enrolled in public or private schools located in Alexandria City or Fairfax County with an Alexandria address. The deadline to apply is March 31.

This scholarship was established to honor the memory and contributions of Peter Williams and further his legacy of responsible business practices and service to others.
Williams was a long-time Alexandria business attorney, civic leader and the President of the Old Town Alexandria Connections (OTAC) until his passing in February of 2014.

A complete application consists of:
  • Typewritten answers to all questions.
  • A letter of recommendation from someone that is knowledgeable about you, your leadership and/or your community service activities, printed on their letterhead (with their contact information on it);
  • A copy of your most recent high school transcript (student-provided, unofficial transcript is acceptable);
  • Your signature and date at the end of this application (signature can be electronic).

Click here to access the scholarship application template and learn more about this opportunity.
Tobacco Free Alliance of Virginia Shares "A License To Protect" Video

Click here to watch "A License To Protect," a short video created by the Tobacco Free Alliance of Virginia. This video shares information about tobacco retail licenses.
Quick Links
City Offers Access to Online Mental Health Training Resource for Adults and Youth

The City of Alexandria is offering access to an online training resource for adults and youth that uses simulation and role-play conversations to help individuals gain skills in recognizing students in mental distress and initiate conversations about mental health. This resource is helpful for local residents and organizations looking to understand suicide prevention and assist youth affected by mental illness. Click here to learn more and access the training.

Nationally, nearly one in five youth will experience a mental health challenge such as depression or anxiety at some point during their life, and suicide remains one of the top three leading causes of death for youth. Information about how to get help, support someone in crisis and prevent suicide can be found here.
Access Free, Confidential, Mental Health Screening 

The Department of Community and Human Services offers an online screening tool for mental health and substance use disorders. This free screening is made available to the general public and is taken anonymously. The screening is provided so that you may find out - in a few minutes - whether or not professional consultation would be helpful to you. Click here to access this tool.
City Resources

Connect With Us
Alexandria Teen Life
Contact Us
Emma Beall, MPH
SAPCA Coordinator
O: 703.746.3670 
C: 571.302.1022
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria 
123 N Pitt St, Suite 225
Alexandria, VA 22314