SAPCA Event Highlights Coping Resources and Accomplishments, Goals During Virtual Event

Page updated on Jul 8, 2021 at 1:07 PM

SAPCA Event Highlights Coping Resources and Accomplishments   


SAPCA Med ResDecember 23, 2020--The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria hosted a community event on December 16, sharing coping resources for dealing with stress and change during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighting the coalition’s accomplishments and goals. 

During the event, guest speaker Stacey D. Hardy-Chandler, Ph.D., J.D, LCSW discussed how to get a handle on coping and encouraged the use of several approaches, including:   

  • Taking time to take a deep breath or temporarily step away from a situation when faced with stress. 

  • Giving and receiving compassion for major losses, as well as routine activities that have been impacted by the pandemic. 

  • Facing feelings by turning to concrete activities that bring comfort, such as journaling or listening to music. 

  • Seeking support from friends, family members or professionals. 

In addition to the presentation, SAPCA representatives shared highlights of the coalition’s work over the past year and efforts to continue prevention work in a virtual environment, including: 

  • Co-hosting the seventh annual Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference virtually with the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy. 

  • Collaborating with Alexandria City Public Schools to host Red Ribbon Week event activities virtually to provide information about the dangers of using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to youth at various grade levels. 

  • Collecting over 1,000 pounds of unused and expired medication through drug take back events. 

  • Installing Alexandria’s third permanent medication drop box at the Alexandria Police Department HQ. 

  • Distributing over 540 locking medicine boxes to families to prohibit youth access to medicines not meant for their use through a partnership with ALIVE. 

  • Delivering virtual substance use prevention education workshops to nearly 200 students.

  • Working with youth and adult volunteers to contribute to City-wide planning processes to ensure Alexandria’s children, youth and families can thrive now and in the future. 

  • Holding elections for the SAPCA Board of Directors. 

  • Receiving a federal grant to enhance our youth alcohol prevention work over the next several years. 

  • Working with T.C. Williams High school students to create a series of vaping prevention videos.  

The event also featured the premiere of several vaping prevention videos created by students at T.C. Williams High School, which will be featured in a campaign launching next month.

“It’s so important to highlight the positive social norm that most students in our community are not vaping,” said SAPCA Coordinator Emma Beall. “These videos do a great job of sharing some of the reasons youth in our community do not vape.”  

The event also included recognition of outgoing Board members Cadence Claypoole and Teresa Tidwell and the welcoming of new members. Claypoole, a senior at T.C. Williams High School, served on the Board for three years and most recently held the position of secretary. Tidwell served on the Board for nine years and held the position of Vice Chair. New members include Tom Gates, Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Programs for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and Shirlen Rac Carpio, a Hammond Middle School student.

Board Chair Allen Lomax closed the event with a call for youth and adult volunteers to join SAPCA’s upcoming efforts.

As state leaders begin to explore the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, youth and adults are invited to join the Policy and Advocacy Committee to support efforts to track and analyze prevention issues so recommendations can be shared with policy makers. 

SAPCA is also seeking volunteers to help deliver Facts and Consequences workshops to Alexandria youth. These workshops share the legal and health consequences of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco products and prescription medications. Training is given on how to deliver presentations in-person or virtually. 

Individuals interested in volunteering with SAPCA should contact SAPCA Coordinator Emma Beall at

View the event online.

SAPCA is an alliance of more than 80 members representing parents, youth, schools, City of Alexandria health and recreation agencies, media, nonprofits, businesses, faith communities, policymakers and law enforcement whose mission is to engage the entire community in reducing youth substance use and abuse in Alexandria. For more information visit