Alcohol Use and Abuse

Have a Safe Halloween

The UPC Youth Council is distributing Halloween posters to all Fairfax County high schools.

With Halloween festivities this month, the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County wants to make sure “trick or treat” for kids and teens is safe and alcohol-free. Don’t let this night be one of horror for your family. Click here to print out UPC’s parent tip sheet for Halloween.

To help kids make the right Halloween choices:

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Parents Who Host LogoParents Who Host, Lose the Most!

The Parents Who Host, Lose the Most (PWH) public education campaign will begin its eighth year in 2014 and seeks to educate parents about Virginia underage drinking laws and facts associated with teen drinking. The campaign has been recognized yearly by a resolution issued by the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) School Board and proclamation issued by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. May is Parents Who Host, Lose the Most month in Fairfax County each year.

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PowerTalk 21

April 21, 2014 – PowerTalk 21 Day – is the national day for parents to talk with teens about alcohol. Click here for tools to help you have the conversation.

PowerTalk 21 day is just a few days away... are you ready to have the lifesaving conversation with your teens about underage drinking?

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Countywide Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking (CIRUD)

The Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County (UPC) convened the first meeting of its Countywide Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking (CIRUD) in August 2006, bringing together school-community coalitions, community organizations, and county agencies to address the epidemic of underage drinking. Today approximately 50 organizations support the UPC and its Countywide Initiative.

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NATIONAL DRUG FACTS WEEK(NDFW) is a health observance week for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse. UPC's Youth Council is taking part, along with nearly 1,000 community organizations across the United States. The special event in Fairfax County is the Jan. 29 "Change for Change" event at West Potomac High School's doubleheader basketball games against Mount Vernon High School. Read the press release for more information.

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BLACK WEDNESDAY: Don't Drink and Drive This Holiday Kickoff

"Black Wednesday" is the night before Thanksgiving. Its ominous name comes from blacking out from drinking too much alcohol. For many students, particularly college students, it is the day they gather with friends before the family holiday celebrations begin.

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Tis the Season To Talk With Your Teens

About Drinking And Drugs

It's the holiday season when family and friends gather to celebrate together. It's also a time when many teens find the opportunity and access to experiment and use alcohol and other drugs. Many teens report that they obtain the alcohol they drink from their parents, friends' parents, siblings, or older friends, with or without permission.

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What’s the biggest risk factor for underage drinking?

By Dr. Claire McCarthy | Globe Correspondent | January 14, 2013
Adapted from the MD Mama blog on

Do you know what the biggest risk factor for underage drinking is?

It’s having a best friend who drinks.

I read an interesting article in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, about ways to predict when adolescents will have their first drink of alcohol. Read full article