As we observe National Mental Health Awareness Month, we consider the issue of substance abuse and the resources available to help families who may be concerned about their students.
Student drug use interferes with their school performance, school attendance, home responsibilities and overall thriving and well-being. In addressing substance abuse concerns, families are encouraged to talk with their child about drug use in a calm and loving way. Help is available. If you are concerned that your child may be using drugs, contact a qualified health professional such as your child’s pediatrician, mental health clinician, school counselor, school nurse, school psychologist or school social worker. These professionals can work with families to discuss the concerns and provide suggestions, next steps and referrals for additional assistance. The Alexandria City Department of Community and Human Services also has information, resources, and services that are available through the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) and their substance use services website.
Families may also contact ACPS Substance Abuse Services for consultation, advice, screenings and assessments to determine levels of care. Additionally, ACPS offers various family resources to help support students who express thoughts or behaviors related to illegal drug use or possession. The Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Service offered by the Department of Student Services & Equity uses a Multi-tiered System of Support approach and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports to deliver services to students involved with substance use or abuse-related problems.
For more information on how to refer your child to this program, please contact any of the counselors listed below. Referrals must be made through school administrators; however, parents can call for a consultation and initiate the referral process.
Ruthy Mercado, LCSW, MAC, CSAC
Fredy L. Martinez, MS.Ed. CSAC, QMHC, PMC-CMHC, PMC-AC
703-619-8278 Ext. 1237 or 571-289-2928
Doreen Boateng, M.ED, LGPC, NCC
703-619-8278 Ext. 1237