The Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County (UPC) is a nonprofit organization working to prevent substance abuse by youth and young adults in Fairfax County through education, advocacy and collaboration with partners at the county, state and national levels. Through its signature programs, campaigns and strategies, UPC and its more than 60 partners address the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, heroin, marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and club drugs.
The Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County (UPC) works collaboratively to prevent and/or reduce substance abuse and related risk factors in Fairfax County in ways that are measurable and that improve the well-being of youth, their families and our communities.
The vision of the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County is a community where youth grow up safe and drug free.
The Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County (UPC) is a non-profit based in Oakton, Virginia, partnering with more than 60 community organization to keep youth and young adults safe and drug free in Virginia’s most populous county
In the summer of 2011, UPC took the major step of becoming an incorporated non-profit organization based on its successful track record as a local, state, and nationally recognized coalition. With the support of the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), UPC became independent of the school system on September 30, 2011, and became known as the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County.
UPC operates under the direction of a board of directors and its officers. The coalition offers outstanding community programs and campaigns; implements recognized evidence-based strategies to address current youth trends in Fairfax County; and supports the violence and drug prevention efforts of its partners. UPC’s hallmark is its commitment to community collaboration.
UPC traces its history to 1984, when the Fairfax County Public Schools created school-community coalitions under the administration of the FCPS Safe and Drug Free Schools office. In 2001, these coalitions formed an umbrella organization known as the Unified Coalition of Fairfax County Public Schools and received Drug Free Communities Support Program federal funding. Remaining under the administration of FCPS, each coalition independently supported prevention programs in their community (defined by the boundaries of their high school and feeder schools pyramid). Issues addressed by the school-community coalitions included parent education, wellness fairs, gangs, cyber bullying, underage drinking, and current drug trends including at that time ecstasy, club drugs, inhalants, and marijuana.
In August 2006, the Countywide Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking (CIRUD) was formed by coalition leaders to address community concern with the high levels of alcohol use and binge drinking evidenced on the 2005 Fairfax County Youth Survey. Drinking to get drunk and binge drinking by teens and young adults was recognized as a public health concern that was eroding the well-being of our entire community.
Given the impetus of CIRUD and significant changes in the federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) program, the Unified Coalition of FCPS was restructured as of October 2006 as the Unified Prevention Coalition (UPC) of FCPS functioning as a countywide organization. It was evident from the initial success of CIRUD that collaborative, countywide prevention efforts needed to be sustained and expanded. CIRUD became a major task force unit under the aegis of UPC.
Membership in UPC expanded to include many of the original school-community coalitions as well as other key stakeholders in Fairfax County, including Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD), Fairfax County government agencies, FCPS, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB), Fairfax County Council of PTAs (FCCPTAs), National Counseling Group, Inova Trauma Unit, George Mason University, Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), Parent Reaching Out to Educate Communities Together (P.R.O.T.E.C.T.), hospitals, businesses, courts, students, and parents.
That support has continued to grow, and UPC invites individuals, organizations and business partners interested in keeping our youth and young adults to join.
Immediate Past President
Lisa Adler, Community Development Director, Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County (2015 - 2017)
Aimee Bechtle, Parent (2015 - 2017)
Lucy Caldwell, Public Information Officer, Fairfax County Police Department (2015 - 2017)
Heather Davies, Parent (2015-2017)
Phil Disharoon, Special Agent in Charge, VA-ABC Enforcement Bureau – NOVA (2014-2016)
William Fulton, School Resource Officer Regional Coordinator, Sergeant, Fairfax County Police Department (2015 - 2017)
Dr. William Hauda, Medical Director, INOVA Hospital Forensic and Assessment Consultation Team (2015 - 2017)
Steven Kaufman, Parent (2015 - 2017)
Casey Lingan, Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney, Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County (2015 - 2017)
Roberto Pamas, Principal, Ph.D., FCPS Holmes Middle School (2014-2016)
Greg Richter, Parent (2015 - 2017)
Lori Shapiro, Parent (2015 - 2017)
Mary Ann Sprouse, Director, GMU Office of Wellness, Alcohol, & Violence Education Services (WAVES) (2014-2016)
Chris Verdecchia, Director of Operations, Glory Days Grill (2015 - 2017)
George Young, LCSW, Therapist/Practice Administrator, Envision Counseling (2015 - 2017)
Charles Anthony Zdebski, Partner, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC (2015 - 2017)
Keep our youth and young adults safe and drug free...
2970-B Chain Bridge Road
Oakton, Virginia 22124
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The Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County (UPC) and this website are partially funded by a Virginia Strategic Prevention Framework - State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG) and a federal SAMHSA Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking grant (STOP). UPC is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with more than 60 partners and members from the community