Take Charge - Be Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Free
We help youth “Take Charge” of their lives by making the choice to stay tobacco, drug and alcohol free. Tobacco and other drugs, including alcohol, can harm a person physically, mentally, spiritually and even financially. When youth “Take Charge” of their minds and bodies they can steer clear of the harmful and addictive effects of these substances.
“Take Charge” includes a series of group-based sessions for Fairfax County youth ages 10 – 19 years old available to:
- School groups in public, private and alternative schools
- Faith-Based Organizations
- Teen and Community Centers
For questions or to start your own “Take Charge” group, email NCS-TakeCharge@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-324-5213, TTY 711.
Why Be Drug Free?
- Each year in the U.S. tobacco-related deaths outnumber deaths from AIDS, car accidents, murders, suicides and fires combined.
- Lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of death among females.
- Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking causes many diseases and reduces the overall health of smokers.
- Before the age of 21, drinking alcohol on a regular basis or binge drinking will stunt the development of the liver and the brain.
- Using drugs can lead to abuse, addictions, serious health problems and even death.
- Although students in Fairfax County report lower rates of smoking cigarettes than students nationally, the percentage more than doubles for each grade level surveyed from 0.2% of 6th-graders up through 8.3% of 12th-graders.
- More than 1 in 5 (22%) of 12th-graders in Fairfax County report using marijuana.
- Fairfax County Youth Survey Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use Presentation
- Fairfax County Youth Survey Drug Use Fact Sheet
- Fairfax County Prevention System Toolkit: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
- The Cool Spot
- College Drinking Prevention
- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens - The Science Behind Drug Abuse
- White House Drug Policy
- Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY)
“Take Charge” is a free program offered by the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. "Take Charge" is a grant-funded program through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.
"Using drugs keeps you from having
the life you want (or dream) of having."