September 2019 
Highlights & Annoucements
SAPCA Joins Partners to Celebrate Recovery Month

On Wednesday, September 18, SAPCA joined nearly 100 community members to celebrate Recovery Month! During this event, SAPCA distributed locking medicine boxes and gun locks as part of the  Lock and Talk campaign, tickets for several gift-card raffles held during the event, water bottles and brain-shaped stress balls,  and information about misconceptions about addiction. In addition to promoting the City's quarterly drug take back days and permanent drug drop boxes.Officers from the Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff's Office collected unused and expired medication at this event.

Thank you to everyone who attended this joyous occasion!
SAPCA in the Community

SAPCA participated in several community events this month to raise awareness about our mission and messages. We  provided a resource table with information about our work at these events:
  • Landmark Church's Community Resource Fair on September 8 
  • the T.C. Williams PTSA meeting on September 23
  • Dia Del Nino, a community festival hosted by the Alexandria Police Department, Casa Chirilagua and NOVA Alexandria Campus on September 28. 
Thank you to these organizations for inviting us to these events to connect with our community!
#FactOfTheMonth: Parents Who Host Lose the Most

Each month, SAPCA highlights one key fact about substance use.  This month we discuss  misconceptions about underage drinking. 

It is high school football season, which means lots of practice and drills, pep rallies, and plenty of celebratory times for young people as they win football games.  In the past, some parents (and other adults) have made the decision to give young people alcohol as part of these celebratory times. However, adults making this decision are  operating under a misguided belief that giving children alcohol at a young age and in a controlled environment will teach them to drink responsibly and mitigate the damage it causes. But, the facts don't support this theory. 

  • Children who are allowed to drink at home or provided alcohol show the steepest increase in drinking, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 
  • No amount of control can mitigate the damage that alcohol does to the developing brain. 
  • Giving kids alcohol doesn't teach to drink responsibly; it just teaches them that you're OK with them drinking.  
  • Local data shows that the majority of youth in Alexandria do not consume alcohol - 84% of 8th, 10th and 12th gradersa trend to get behind. 
The Parents Who Host Lose The Most campaign reminds parents about the health, safety, and legal risks of giving alcohol to children. For example, in Virginia adults can be fined $2,500 for each young person they provide an alcoholic beverage. 

To learn more about Virginia drinking laws and how you can help Alexandria's teens stay substance free while celebrating milestones this season, click here.

Have an idea for our next #FactOfTheMonth ? Email Emma Beall at
Opportunity to Voice Your Opinions: Community Engagement for Children & Youth Master Planning Process

SAPCA is helping  the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) to develop the next Children and Youth Master Plan (CYMP) for the City of Alexandria, a plan which will serve as a guide for taking action on the issues that children, youth, and families face in Alexandria so that all children and their families thrive. On Friday, September 20, SAPCA Coordinator Emma Beall participated in a community engagement activity - the "Build Your Legacy Workshop" - with 25 students from the T.C. Satellite Campus to gather their input on the next Children and Youth Master Plan. 

We are still looking for community groups to participate  in this workshop  between now and the end of October.  This workshop is about 60 minutes long (and can be modified if needed) and starts by imagining what Alexandria looks like 5 years from now if we're successful in meeting the needs of all youth, preventing adversity and trauma, and building resilience and assets. It ends with the group engineering the steps to get there.

Anyone interested in participating in this activity or learning more should contact Chelsea Eickert at
Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the number of vaping-related injuries continues to increase.  There have been 805 cases of lung injury reported from 46 states and 1 U.S. territory. Twelve deaths have been confirmed in 10 states.

All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.  Based on initial data from certain states: 
  • Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC.
  • Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. 
  • Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.
In testimony before the House on Tuesday, Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC, said that half of all vaping-related injuries appeared in people 25 and younger. 
She said most of the cases involved black-market products that include THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. She noted THC is not necessarily the cause of the injuries. "We don't know if there's a new, particularly risky product" that has touched off the outbreak, she said.

The CDC does not yet know the specific cause of these lung injuries, as the investigation has not identified any specific e-cigarette or vaping product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) or substance that is linked to all cases.

Call for Volunteers

SAPCA is looking for volunteers to hand out materials at several upcoming events. No previous experience is required to volunteer. Contact Emma Beall at or 703-746-3670  if you are  interested  in volunteering!
  • Driver's Ed Presentation at T.C. Williams High School
    • October 17 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
  • Red Ribbon Week at T.C. Williams High School
    • October 23 from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Drug Take Back Day (site locations throughout the City)
    • October 26 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Red Ribbon Week Tabling at T.C. Williams Minnie Howard Campus
    • October 30 from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Counter Tobacco Hosting 8th Annual Photo Contest

Counter Tobacco is excited to announce the dates for the 8th Annual Photo Contest! This contest showcases 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.

October 7th through November 4th, Counter Tobacco is calling on you to submit photos reflecting tobacco industry marketing tactics in the retail environments for the chance to win some sweet swag. In the meantime, get some inspiration from last year's winners.

Enter the 2019 Congressional App Competition

The 2019 Congressional App Competition (CAC) has officially launched, supported by large tech companies such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. 

Students, both high-school and middle-school level, may participate as individuals or in teams of up to four and winners may be eligible to have their app featured in the Capitol Building. Participating students can either reside or attend school in VA-08. Students can confirm residency by clicking here. The deadline to submit apps is November 1, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.

Students interested must register by clicking here.
2019-2020 PTA Reflections Art Contest
T.C. Williams and Minnie Howard students, look within. What do you see? What do you feel? Show it through your art in this year's PTA Reflections Art Contest, "Look Within." Enter as many times as you wish, and in as many categories as you wish. Entry forms and copies of the Reflections rules can be found in the Reflections bins in the Library/Media Centers, or at Reflections Information.
Place your entries in the Library/Media Center.
Reflections Submissions are due by Friday, November 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm in the bins in the Library/Media Centers. Any questions? Please email Luisa Tio at or text 703-599-7923.Place article copy here. Be sure to make the articles short and concise as people tend not to read much more than a couple of paragraphs.
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 f rom 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the following sites:
October 10, 2019:  William Ramsay Recreation Center
October 24, 2019:  Charles Houston Recreation Center
November 21, 2019:  Charles Houston Recreation Center
December 19, 2019:  Charles Houston Recreation Center
January 30, 2020:  Charles Houston Recreation Center
February 27, 2020:  Charles Houston Recreation Center
March 26, 2020:  Leonard "Chick" Armstrong Recreation Center
April 23, 2020:  Leonard "Chick" Armstrong Recreation Center
May 28, 2020: Charles Houston Recreation Center
For more information, contact Percy White at or visit

View this flyer in SpanishAmharic and  Arabic.
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