News Release - Substance Abuse Awareness Week Conference
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board
12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 836
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Hans Petersen, Communications Director
703-324-7003, TTY 703-802-3015, Fax 703-324-7092
October 16, 2008
27th Annual Substance Abuse Awareness Week Conference
Workshops Open to the Public throughout Fairfax County
In a continuing effort to promote programs designed to reduce substance abuse, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB), in collaboration with many partner organizations and community groups, is once again sponsoring “Substance Abuse Awareness Week” from October 27 through 31, 2008.
The annual observance, with the theme, “Sustaining a Strong and Healthy Community,” brings together individuals, community groups, private and public service providers, schools, advocacy groups and professional organizations to promote and sustain ongoing recovery and healthier communities.
Free activities for the general public during the week at locations throughout the County include workshops, poster contests, puppet shows, prevention information and discussion seminars on topics such as “Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use in Adolescents.”
The week’s activities will culminate on Friday, October 31, with a full day conference in the Fairfax County Government Center which will include 16 workshops from “Motivating People to Change” to “Not the Exception Anymore: Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.”
The keynote speakers at the conference luncheon will be Abel C. Ortiz, Senior Associate for Child Welfare and the Family to Family Initiative at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Denise Raybon, Countywide Prevention Coordinator, Fairfax County Department of Systems Management for Human Services.
Reflecting on 27 years of sharing the event with the residents and service providers in the Fairfax-Falls Church and D.C. metropolitan area, William H. Williams, Director, CSB Alcohol and Drug Services, said, “Substance use disorders have taken an enormous toll on the health and well being of too many people. The workforce, families, and the community’s health care resources can all be impacted when just one person is dependent on alcohol and/or drugs. The good news is that treatment and prevention efforts are working, are cost efficient and work to get people with substance use disorders back on track as contributing members of our society.
“Community outreach and support are two main elements of a successful prevention coalition. Reaching out to our community and forming coalitions that will focus on prevention and treatment for substance use disorders, while at the same time establishing recovery support groups and investing in prevention efforts, will reduce stigma and improve the lives of children and families who have been affected by substance use disorders.”
In the United States, as many as 22 million people are classified with substance abuse, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Six out of ten persons with a substance abuse disorder are also diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder such as an eating disorder, depression, or other emotional disorder.
For additional information on the week’s activities or the conference, please call the CSB Prevention Services office, 703-934-5477, TTY 711. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, 703-934-8734, TTY 711.