November 2022


Call for Nominations: SAPCA Officers and Board Members

The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) invites qualified and motivated youth and adults to submit nomination applications to serve as officers and members of the Board for SAPCA. 

Please send the nomination form to those you think are good candidates and interested in serving on the SAPCA Board. We need current and future community leaders to provide their ideas, thoughts and time to reducing and ending youth substance use and misuse in Alexandria. 

Nominations are sought for the following positions:

  • Four officer positions - Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer (each with a two year term, January 2023-2025).
  • Five members of the Board of Directors (each with a two-year term, January 2023-2025). At least one member must be a youth.

Time Commitment 

SAPCA's Board of Directors, which includes its officers, meets monthly. The meetings are in the evenings from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Nomination Guidelines

  1. Nominees must be members in good standing with SAPCA.
  2. Nominees may be adults or Alexandria middle and high school students (public or private grades 8-12).

Nomination Procedures

Nominations should be submitted using this form. The deadline to submit your nomination application is Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 11:00 p.m.

SAPCA Hosts Fall Community Meeting

On October 4, 24 youth and adults joined SAPCA for a community meeting at Charles Houston Recreation Center to learn about the latest youth substance use data trends.  After reviewing the data, attendees shared reactions to the data -- including trends they noticed -- before discussing potential solutions to address youth attitudes and behaviors about alcohol, marijuana, tobacco/vaping, and prescription drugs.

To build on the feedback shared during this meeting, SAPCA will be holding listening sessions with Alexandria youth to provide them with an opportunity to provide input on this data and collaboratively identify strategies to prevent and reduce youth substance use in our community.

Click here to view the presentation shared during this meeting.

Alexandria Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Each year, SAPCA joins our community in celebrating Red Ribbon Week from October 23-31. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention program and is an ideal way for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs. This year's theme was “Celebrate Life: Live Drug Free.” 

This year, SAPCA participated in Red Ribbon Week by:

  • Encouraging students to enter the Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest by November 15, 2022. Three winners will receive a $100 gift card and have their poster featured in Red Ribbon Week 2023! 
  • Recognizing Red Ribbon Week through a City proclamation.
  • Encouraging students and parents to take the Red Ribbon Week Pledge to stand up against substance use.
  • Distributing 5,000 stress balls to ACPS school staff and administrators to share with students.
  • Assisting in the development of community circles delivered to ACPS elementary, middle and high school students. During community circles, students explored topics that are essential to healthy development, including:
  • Communication skills;
  • Helping a friend in need;
  • Resisting peer pressure;
  • Boundaries and expectations;
  • The importance of staying substance-free by focusing on sparks – the interests and passions that give people great enjoyment and a sense of purpose; and
  • The health and social consequences of using alcohol, e-cigarettes, marijuana, and prescription and over-the-counter medication. 

Thanks to everyone who helped make these activities a huge success!

City Council Recognizes Red Ribbon Week in Alexandria

On October 25, SAPCA joined several of our community partners for the presentation of a proclamation declaring October 23-31 as Red Ribbon Week in the City of Alexandria. During this presentation, Interim Superintendent of ACPS Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt; ACPS Substance Abuse Prevention & Intervention Services Coordinator Fredy Martinez; Keep It 360 Peer Advocate Chloe Yokitis; and SAPCA Coordinator Emma Beall spoke about the importance of substance use prevention efforts. They also highlighted the winning artwork from last year's Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest and encouraged ACPS elementary, middle and high school students to enter this year's contest. SAPCA appreciates the hard work and support of our partners during Red Ribbon Week, and year-round, to prevent youth substance use and misuse in our community.

The Keep It 360 Peer Advocates are a group of Alexandria youth who work closely with SAPCA, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP), and the Alexandria Sexual Assault Center to support prevention and outreach efforts.

Click here to watch the presentation of this proclamation.

Click here to learn more about Red Ribbon Week.

SAPCA Promotes Resources During School Safety Forum

On October 26, SAPCA shared information and resources with families at the Public Safety Forum hosted by Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and the Alexandria PTA Council. During this event, SAPCA shared information about the importance of safe medication storage and disposal and distributed locking medicine boxes and gun locks.

Families also received information highlighting ways parents and other caring adults can build assets, the essential building blocks that support healthy development of children and youth, and tips for talking to children and teens about alcohol and other drugs. 

SAPCA Delivers Facts and Consequences Presentations to Jefferson Houston Students

On October 27, SAPCA delivered Facts and Consequences presentations to 55 middle school students at Jefferson Houston PreK-8 IB School. During these presentations, youth learned about the health and legal consequences of using alcohol, marijuana, tobacco products, and prescription medications. Youth also discussed ways to respond to peer pressure and cope with stress in healthy ways. SAPCA is appreciative of the opportunity to share this important information with students in our community and looks forward to continuing to deliver presentations during the school year.

Interested in supporting SAPCA to deliver Facts and Consequences Presentations? Contact April Pavis-Shroeder at april.pavisshroeder@alexandriava.govNo previous experience is required and all volunteers receive training before presentations take place.

Mayor's Campaign to End Bullying Hosts Video Series Premier 

On October 27, the Mayor's Campaign to End Bullying hosted "Stand Up To Bullying," a virtual screening of four videos created by Alexandria City High School TV Production students. These videos focus on preventing bullying at school and in the community, standing up to bullying, and being kind to all. Following the premier of the videos, participants discussed ways to prevent and respond to bullying.

Learn more about the Mayor's Campaign to End Bullying and ways you can support efforts to end bullying here.

October 29 Drug Take Back Day Recap

On October 29, the City of Alexandria collected and safely disposed of 254 lbs. of 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 Lorraine Berko, Leonard Horning, and Santos Diaz for their help distributing locking medicine boxes and sharing 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. 

Click here to learn about the importance of safe medication disposal.

Quick Links
Learn More About SAPCA
Upcoming Events & Resources

Straight Talk with Families About Substance Abuse with ACPS Interim Superintendent

Click here to view a video message from ACPS Interim Superintendent Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt encouraging families to talk to their students about the opioid crisis and the dangers of fentanyl.

Learn more about fentanyl and help spread the word by reviewing and sharing these flyers for youth and adults, available in EnglishSpanishAmharic, and Arabic

Enter the Point-of-Sale Tobacco Marketing Photo Contest

Each year, CounterTobacco hosts a Photo Contest to showcase what's happening in the tobacco retail environment all across the country. These images are crucial to educating the public and furthering the success of state and local tobacco control efforts that seek to reduce tobacco industry activity at the point of sale.

Youth are invited to submit photos by November 7 reflecting tobacco industry marketing tactics in the retail environments for the chance to win some sweet swag (and bragging rights, of course). Explore this year's contest categories, get some inspiration from past contest winners, and learn how to enter the contest here.

Alexandria Health Department Monkeypox Information Sessions Now Available in Multiple Languages

Learn the basics about monkeypox and how to protect yourself through new videos from the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) in Spanish, Amharic, Arabic, and English. The videos are now available on the City of Alexandria’s YouTube page. Each session addresses how the virus is spread, common symptoms, vaccine eligibility and what AHD is doing to keep everyone safe.

Still have questions? Call 703.746.4988 during weekdays between 9am and 5pm, visit, or email

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
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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