October is Substance Use Prevention Month, and our community has many strategies and resources to prevent substance misuse and provide support to those who need assistance. Substance misuse can impact an individual’s physical and mental health, in addition to their social, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Substance Use Warning Signs
- Behavioral and/or mood changes.
- Items or money go missing.
- Memory problems.
- Isolation or abandoning social activities.
- Change in peer group.
- Glazed expression.
- Slurred speech.
- Eyes are red, heavy-lidded and may have constricted pupils.
- Possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia.
- Decline in grades for children.
The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB), the public behavioral health agency in our county, has numerous services, resources and initiatives to support residents to prevent, reduce and treat substance misuse.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact CSB Emergency Services at 703-573-5679.
Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education
CSB offers an opioid overdose and naloxone education program that makes naloxone available to participants who learn to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and how to reverse opioid overdose. Opioids include illicit medications like hydrocodone and oxycodone, in addition to illicit drugs like heroin.
The CSB offers virtual opioid overdose and naloxone training classes called REVIVE! where participants will learn:
- How to recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose.
- How to administer naloxone nasal spray to potentially reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
- What to do and not do when responding.
After completing the live training, individuals have the option to receive free Naloxone.
Presentations and Classes for Community Groups
- Mental Health First Aid — Customized and great for community groups. Complete our online form to request a class.
- REVIVE! — Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a class for your group.
- Talk. They hear you. — An underage drinking prevention session. Email CSB to request a presentation.
- ACE Interface – A presentation to help participants understand the impacts of childhood adversity and trauma on development and how to build resiliency and improve well-being. Email Fairfax-AceInterface@fairfaxcounty.gov to schedule a customized presentation.
Virtual Recovery and Support Groups for Teens and Parents
- Heads Up and Talk it Out are weekly virtual concurrent groups. Heads Up is for teens between the ages of 14-17 who are working through emotional, mental health or substance use challenges. Talk it Out provides support, education and resources to their parents and guardians. These confidential sessions are held via Zoom for telehealth each Thursday from 6-7 p.m. For more information or to get the access code to join the groups, contact Anna Davis (703-383-8404) or David Edelman (571-459-8172).
- Our Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court offers a Virtual Parent Support Group every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. For more information, call central intake at 703-246-2495.
Addiction Medication Clinic for Adults
The Addiction Medication Clinic (AMC) helps adults who are struggling with addiction to substances and would benefit from Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). AMC provides long-term substance use disorder treatment from initial detoxification through medication maintenance. Prescribed medications can ease the discomfort of withdrawal, help normalize brain chemistry that has been disrupted due to substance use, relieve physiological cravings and reduce the feelings of euphoria when using substances.
Fairfax County Public School Resources
The Substance Abuse Prevention program, a partnership between the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court's Diversion Unit, provides substance use prevention, assessments and treatment to adolescents who are at risk of or who are actively using substances.
These specialized staff at all Fairfax County Public Schools ensure youth have access to services to reduce substance use and address underlying issues that may lead to the decision to use. The program is confidential and available to all students.
For information on parent education resources including videos and presentations, visit the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention resource page. The Healthy Minds Podcast shares discussions that encourage parents to have meaningful and important conversations with children. Podcast topics include social emotional learning, activating empathy in children, practicing coping skills, managing feelings around uncertainty and warning signs of addiction. If you have a suggestion for a podcast topic, send an email to email@example.com.
- Unsecured, unused and expired medications pose a health risk to your family and community. Proper disposal helps prevent misuse and accidental poisonings and it also protects the environment.
- There are easy and convenient ways to safely dispose of medications.
- Oct. 28 is National Drug Takeback Day.
- The Fairfax Prevention Coalition is a partnership of parents, youth, schools, healthcare providers, government agencies, law enforcement, faith-based organizations, media, nonprofits, businesses and more who work together to combat substance use in the community. The coalition meets virtually once a month. If you are interested in attending, contact Lori Naveda, coalition coordinator at Lori.Naveda@fairfaxcounty.gov.