Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (SAPCA)

Page updated on Dec 30, 2021 at 5:45 PM

Check out SAPCA's December 2021 newsletter.

Want to test your knowledge about alcohol and other drugs? Click here to take the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge!.

Talk They Hear You


On July 1, 2021, marijuana was legalized for adults, 21 years or older, with certain conditions. SAPCA thought youth and adults should know these Top 10 Things about the new law. They are:

  1. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use, purchase, or possess any amount of marijuana.
  2. Adults may possess up to one ounce (28.3 grams) and use marijuana in Virginia.
  3. Adults may grow up to four marijuana plants per household—not per person. Youth access to these plants must be restricted and plants should not be grown in a public place. Each plant must have a legible tag attached with the owner’s name, driver’s license or ID number, and a statement that it is grown for a personal use as authorized by law.
  4. It is illegal for anyone to use marijuana in a public space.
  5. Adults may use marijuana in a private residence but the owner of a residence can restrict the use of marijuana in the residence.
  6. Colleges and universities in Virginia have the right to prohibit marijuana use and possession on their campuses and in campus housing.
  7. It is illegal for anyone to buy or sell marijuana, including marijuana seeds.
  8. It is also illegal to ship, transport, import or bring marijuana or marijuana products into Virginia.
  9. It is unsafe to drive while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or a combination of these substances.
  10. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use, purchase, or possess any amount of marijuana.

    Learn more facts about the new Virginia Legalization Law at

    Click here to learn more facts about marijuana.

SAPCA Launches Video Series to Encourage Youth to Be Alcohol Free

May 2021 Video Series


Supporting Healthy Youth and Healthy Families

SAPCA encourages families to talk with children and teens about substance use and misuse. Check out these ideas for starting - or continuing - the conversation:

  1. Make your values clear about substance use - particularly underage use of substances - with children and teens. 
  2. Have a conversation about family rules and consequences. Topics to discuss together could include:

    • What is a realistic curfew for week nights? Is curfew different on weekends?
    • What are some of the potential consequences of arriving home past curfew? How might these consequences change if communication takes place to explain a delay?
  3. Talk about the health, legal and social consequences of using substances like  alcoholmarijuana, and  e-cigarettes and misusing prescription and over-the-counter medication
  4.  Know the legal consequences related to underage use of these substances. It is illegal for anyone under 21 to use, purchase or possess alcohol, marijuana or tobacco products. It is also illegal for anyone over 21 to provide alcohol, marijuana or tobacco  products to persons under 21.

Quick Links

Who We Are

Resource Spotlight: Preventing Youth Substance Use and Misuse

Supporting Positive Youth Development

Announcements and Community Events  

Interested in volunteering with SAPCA? Contact Emma Beall at if you would like to volunteer.

Do you know that SAPCA is on Facebook and Twitter? Click here to like us on Facebook and here to follow us on Twitter.

SAPCA Spotlights


Click here to learn about the campaign.

FDA warns about serious problems with high doses of the allergy medicine diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that taking higher than recommended doses of the common over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicine diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death. There are several reports of teenagers ending up in emergency rooms or dying after participating in the “Benadryl Challenge” encouraged in videos posted on the social media application TikTok.

parent support line 

Learn about the important role parents and other caring adults play in preventing substance use

Become a Member of SAPCA

View a summary of the latest results from the Profile of Student Life Survey (Developmental Assets) conducted in 2019. The full report can be found here.

Check out this spotlight of our 2019 Project Sticker Shock!

During this annual event, teams of youth and adults place bright warning stickers on multi-packs of beer and other alcohol products in Alexandria stores

E-Cigarettes & JUUL: What Schools and Parents Should Know


Learn more about Virginia's new Tobacco 21 legislation, effective July 1, 2019!



Click here to learn what retailers need to know about Tobacco 21.

Nationwide, less than a quarter of high school seniors report drinking alcohol -- and in Alexandria, that number is lower. Learn more about this Trend To Get Behind:

PWH Poster 2018

Learn more about Virginia Drinking Laws here.

Interested in learning more about opioids?  

This website features information about opioids, what opioid addiction “looks like,” where to get help across the region,  how to sign up for a REVIVE! class and locations to safely dispose of unused or expired opioid medications.

SAPCA 2017 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report Page 1

2017 Annual Report Page 2