May 2022
April 30 Drug Take Back Day Recap

On April 30, the City of Alexandria collected and safely disposed of 329 lbs. of unused, expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. SAPCA thanks and recognizes our community partners for their help in hosting another successful take back day event:
  • Alexandria Police Department
  • Alexandria Sheriff's Office
  • Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray
  • Fire Station 210
  • Alexandria Opioid Work Group
  • Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps

We are also thankful for the wonderful volunteers that supported outreach efforts. Please join us in recognizing Allen Lomax, Donna Pickett, Kathleen Ognibene, and Santos Diaz for their help sharing information and distributing resources about the importance of safe medication disposal during this event.
Couldn't make it to Drug Take Back Day? Dispose of medication year-round at one of the City's permanent medication drop-boxes.

Needles are not accepted in the permanent medication drop boxes. Dispose of needles and syringes at a separate permanent drop box specifically for these items located inside the visitor's entrance at Inova Alexandria Hospital. The box is accessible at the same location and hours as the hospital’s drop off box for medications. 

City of Alexandria Recognizes First Annual National Fentanyl Awareness Day

The City of Alexandria joins communities around the nation today, May 10, in support of the first annual National Fentanyl Awareness Day to raise awareness about fentanyl-laced illicit drugs, ways that residents can prevent substance misuse, and treatment resources to manage substance use disorders. Street drugs are often laced with fentanyl– an inexpensive and deadly substitute that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine– without the consumer’s knowledge. Nationally, fentanyl-involved deaths are fastest growing among 14- to 23-year-olds.
Earlier this month, the City issued a warning following twelve reported opioid overdoses in the city, six of which occurred in school-age youth who reported smoking little blue pills that they believed were Percocet. Cutting fentanyl into other substances, including counterfeit prescription pills, called fentapills, and falsely marketing them as Oxycodone, Percocet and Xanax has become common. 
SAPCA and the City's Opioid Work Group encourage residents to quickly and widely spread potentially lifesaving information about fentanyl and to take action to prevent medication misuse and abuse by:

  • Raising awareness about the importance of only taking medication prescribed by a doctor or purchased at a pharmacy.
  • Sharing information about the dangers associated with illicit fentanyl hidden in fake pills and street drugs.
  • Exploring resources available for parents and other caring adults to initiate conversations with youth on the consequences of substance use, healthy decision making, avoiding risky behaviors, responding to peer pressure, resources for treatment and recovery and more.
  • Learning more about National Fentanyl Awareness Day by visiting the website.
  • Disposing of unused or expired medication via one of several safe options for disposal.
  • Accessing free locking medication boxes to secure necessary prescription and over-the-counter medication. Learn more about how to obtain these devices here.

Learn more facts about prescription and over-the-counter medication here.

For life-threatening situations, call 9-1-1 immediately. To share information regarding the illegal sale of opioids or other drugs, call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6277
Get Narcan and Fentanyl Test Strips for Free

If given in time, Narcan® (also known as Naloxone) can save the life of someone who is overdosing from opioids. Fentanyl test strips detect the presence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than morphine, in unregulated injectable drugs, powders and pills. Narcan is available for free from the Alexandria Health Department by calling 703.746.4888

Alexandria residents can also request fentanyl test strips and Narcan to be mailed to you by emailing your name and mailing address to There is no cost for the strips, Narcan or mailing.
Volunteer Spotlight: Latavia Randolph

Did you see Latavia Randolph's opinion piece in the Alexandria Times? Read her article below and join us in thanking Latavia for sharing her story and raising awareness about Alcohol Awareness Month.

You don’t have an alcohol problem – yet
Each April, communities across the country celebrate Alcohol Awareness Month to share information about the facts and consequences of alcohol use and to raise awareness about the causes and effects of substance use disorders. Alcohol Awareness Month is also a great opportunity to discuss the benefits of living alcohol-free with children and teens in your life.

I know firsthand the long term consequences of using and misusing alcohol anytime I felt disease, uncomfortable emotions, anxiety or stress because I am an alcoholic who has been sober for two-and-a-half years. I had my first alcoholic drink when I was 13 years old, and by the time I turned 21, drinking became the norm. From attending happy hours and networking events to celebrating birthdays, weddings and personal milestones, I celebrated my freedom, my independence and many of life’s greatest experiences with champagne, wine, beer, cocktails and shots.

When I transitioned into a young adult and entered the working world, I took on more responsibility, making me vulnerable for alcohol use disorder, a dependence on alcohol that arises from drinking too much, too fast and too often. Alcohol became my crutch and an unhealthy coping mechanism during times of anxiety and stress. When feelings of hopelessness, fear, anger and sadness became overwhelming, I started to binge drink four to five times per week.

Despite several consequences that stemmed from my drinking – endangering myself and others, being sexually abused, getting into legal trouble, having relationship problems and being fired from work – I remained in denial because I didn’t believe my problem was bad enough. Until it was.
I always believed “it could be worse” and time proved me to be right. Anyone at any age can have a drinking problem, but no one becomes addicted to alcohol overnight. Alcohol dependence is progressive. What might seem harmless or not bad enough at first can get worse if it’s not treated. Fortunately for me, my bad became worse and that frightened me enough to get sober.

The sober life hasn’t always been a popular choice in a culture that revolves around and profits from alcohol. It may begin by asking yourself why you choose to pick up a drink or realizing that you are drinking as a strategy to cope with the pressures of life. This month, I encourage you to prioritize discussing the health, legal and social consequences of alcohol use with children and teens in your life to support all of Alexandria’s youth to make informed choices about their health and future.
SAPCA Delivers Facts and Consequences Presentations to Bishop Ireton Students

On April 26 and 27, SAPCA visited health classes at Bishop Ireton High School to present Facts and Consequences to 89 freshmen students.

During these presentations, students learned about the health, legal, and social consequences of using alcohol, e-cigarettes, marijuana, and prescription and over-the-counter medication. Students also discussed ways to respond to peer pressure, tools to cope with stress in a healthy way, and opportunities to participate in Alcohol Awareness Month activities. Among students that completed an evaluation survey for this workshop:

  • 62% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement "I would be all right if my friends rejected me because I didn’t do something they wanted me to (e.g., drink alcohol, use marijuana or use e-cigarettes)."
  • 97% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement "I will be sure to only take a prescription drug if it is prescribed to me by my doctor, and take it exactly how it is prescribed."
  • 85% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement "Waiting until I am of legal age to try or use alcohol is important to me and my health.
  • 96% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement "It is important that I do not get in a car with a driver who is under the influence of any drug, including alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs.
  • 84% of students strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “If asked to try drugs or alcohol, I would be comfortable saying ‘no’ in an assertive manner.”
  • 96% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement "Using e-cigarettes (includes vapes and JUULs) is harmful to my health.

SAPCA is appreciative of the opportunity to share this important information with students in our community and looks forward to continuing to collaborate with Bishop Ireton in the future.

Interested in volunteering to co-present these workshops to middle and high school youth? No previous experience is required and all volunteers receive training before presentations take place. Contact April Pavis-Shroeder at to learn more.
Keep It 360 Peer Advocates Host Film Screening

In recognition of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Keep It 360 Peer Advocates hosted a free film screening of Roll Red Roll at Charles Houston Recreation Center on April 27. After watching this film, the Peer Advocates facilitated a group discussion to provide participants with space to share their reactions, thoughts and feelings about the film.
Roll Red Roll is a true-crime thriller that goes behind the headlines to uncover the deep-seated and social media-fueled "boys will be boys" culture at the root of high school sexual assault in America.

To learn more about the Alexandria Sexual Assault Center, including programming and resources available, visit

To contact the Alexandria Sexual Assault Center hotline, call 703.683.7273.
Applications Open for Keep It 360 Peer Advocates

Applications are open for high school youth interested in serving as Keep It 360 Peer Advocates, a group of Alexandria youth that work closely with SAPCA, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy and the Alexandria Sexual Assault Center.

Peer Advocates are highly trained in providing education, information, and support to other Alexandria teens on topics of sexual and reproductive health, pregnancy prevention, sexual assault prevention, healthy relationships, and substance use and misuse prevention. Peer Advocates will work 6-8 hours a week and be paid $12 an hour. Applications are due by Monday, May 16 at 6:00 p.m. and can be found here.

Questions? Contact Felicia Parks at
Save the Date: ACAP's Virtual Virtual Community Meeting

Please join the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy for a virtual community meeting on May 18, 5-6:30 p.m. where we will learn about the latest teen pregnancy/sexual health data trends from the Alexandria Health Department and celebrate #SexEdForAllMonth. This event is free and will take place on Zoom. No RSVP is required. Visit for more information. 
Help Spread the Word: 2022 Young Adult Survey

The Virginia Young Adult Survey (YAS) is a statewide survey that will collect data at a local level to support prevention planning and help meet local needs and target strategies more effectively.
This survey is completely anonymous and will be open for participation until May 30, 2022.

To take the survey, you must be between the ages of 18 and 25 years old and a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students attending colleges and universities in the state of Virginia are considered residents of Virginia for the purposes of this survey. When taking this survey, you will be asked to select the county or locality you live in.

Young adults that reside in the City of Alexandria and take the survey are eligible to be entered into a drawing for a $35 Target gift card or receive a $10 Target gift card.

To access the survey, text Virginia to 855-632-2201. You will receive a message with a link that you can open directly from your phone or copy to a web browser. This link can only be used once.

Click here to learn more about the survey.
Quick Links
Upcoming Events & Resources
Recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month

In recognition of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, SAFE Project is leading the No Shame Movement to end stigma in the mental health and addiction arenas.
The No Shame Movement asks people to: 
  • Understand that addiction is a disease
  • Commit to learning more about the disease of addiction and mental health challenges that contribute to it 
  • Encourage individuals to seek help and treatment 
  • Support people in recovery on their journey
It will take all of us to end stigma. Click here to join the No Shame Movement.

To learn about mental health resources offered by the City of Alexandria, visit
Save the Date: 2022 All-Night Grad Party

This year's All Night Grad Party (ANGP) will take place on June 4 from 10:30 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. This annual tradition, sponsored by the ACHS PTSA, is made possible by the generous support of local businesses, citizens, community organizations, and alumni and sends a clear message that the Alexandria community values the academic achievements of our students and cares deeply about their safety and well-being. Since our community began this tradition in 1989, there have been no drug or alcohol-related graduation night fatalities.

During this drug and alcohol free party, ACHS graduates will enjoy activities, food, and lots of prizes. Tickets for this event are $40 and will be available on the PTSA website under the ANGP tab.

The ANGP committee is also selling yard signs for families of seniors and community members to fundraise for this event. Learn how to purchase a sign here.

To learn more about ANGP, including how to get involved, email
Free Virtual Workshop: "Guiding the College-Bound Athlete"

The Alexandria City High School Athletics Office is hosting "Guiding the College-Bound Athlete” a virtual recruiting workshop on Tuesday, May 17 at 8 p.m.

This free workshop is for athletes in grades 7-12 that have aspirations of playing college sports and for students' parents and coaches and will cover several topics, including setting up recruiting visits, ensuring academic eligibility to play college sports, and finding information about athletic scholarships and grants. Participants will also receive an SAT/ACT prep program ($350 value). Pre-registration is required to attend and space is limited. Click here to register and save your spot now!
COVID-19 Reminders

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to help end the pandemic by wearing a mask over both your nose and mouth, washing your hands frequently, and getting vaccinated. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Every Alexandrian can take precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about how to protect yourself and those around you at
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