Substance Abuse Prevention Program

FCPS offers activities and learning experiences which focus on the many ways cannabis, alcohol, nicotine/vaping, and other drug use can impact student lives.

Effective July 1, 2019, Section § 22.1-277 §18.2-251.1:1 of the Code of Virginia was amended to authorize possession or distribution of Cannabidiol Oil (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A) Oil.

Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) Program

Students who violate the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) regulation of the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) take part in our SAP Program. 

Students meet with a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS) in school during the school day. The SAPS assesses a student’s level of substance use and provide appropriate  level of intervention, which can include:

  • Substance abuse prevention education, 
  • Individual or group intervention, 
  • Referral to a community behavioral health provider. 

FCPS provides students with the most accurate and up-to-date information on substance use, addiction, and treatment. This includes medical, physical, social and psychological consequences. Students learn the tools and strategies they need to stop using these substances, including refusal skills and cessation techniques.

Staff members and parents can refer a student to the SAP program. Students can also refer themselves. A student can take part in the SAP program regardless of whether the student has violated the ATOD regulation in the SR&R.

What does the SAPS do?

Each school pyramid has a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS) assigned to provide substance abuse prevention, education, and brief intervention services. 

Some of the duties of the SAPS include:

  • Alcohol, nicotine and other drugs education education 
  • Brief intervention services upon violation of SR&R or suspected substance abuse involvement
  • Group and individual prevention services for students, staff, parents, and the Fairfax County community
  • Partner with Parent Teacher Student Organizations (PTSO) to provide parent presentations
  • Partner with School Resource Officers (SRO) for educational presentations
  • And more…

How to Contact the SAPS

Each school pyramid has an assigned SAPS who provides services.  If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, please contact your student's school.  Front office staff, counselors, or administrators can put you in contact with the SAPS.

In A Few Words Podcast Logo

In a Few Words FCPS Podcast: Episode 11
Hear Tips on How Parents Play an Important Role in Prevention of Substance Abuse Among Children. Beth Mohaupt and Bryan Villalobos, members of the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Team, explain their roles as counselors and gives parents information on how to be proactive in preventing substance abuse among children.

Spanish Podcast:

Arabic Podcast:

Korean Podcast:

Parent Education

As part of the ATOD Intervention Program, FCPS requires the parents of participating students to watch an ATOD education video. 

The video helps parents:

  • Understand the concept of addictive disease
  • Learn reasons young people engage in substance use behavior
  • Become familiar with the signs, symptoms, and characteristic behaviors of addiction
  • View some of the most popular drug paraphernalia. 
  • Learn the latest trends in drug use and some of the ways students are obtaining substances
  • Learn about available resources for seeking help.

Required ATOD Parent Online Educational Video

This video is required for parents of students participating in the ATOD Intervention Program. It is approximately 1 hour long. Please allow yourself time to complete the video in its entirety. Your completion will be recorded once you have entered your information after completing the training.

ATOD Prevention Curriculum

FCPS Student Safety and Wellness (SSAW) curriculum and content provides students with the most up-to-date information on current substance abuse trends, prevention strategies, brief interventions, and supports.  Students learn how substance abuse impacts their health, academic achievement, and relationships.  They also learn about related laws, policies, and regulations.

Staff Presentations

School principals can contact their SAPS to schedule training for their staff and administrators. The staff presentation includes:

  • The substances being utilized by youth 
  • A display of the various substances and paraphernalia.
  • Information on to address alcohol, tobacco/vaping, and drug issues with youth 
  • Information on how staff can provide resources that can assist at-risk students.


Fairfax County Youth Substance Use Trends and Opioid Response

Fairfax County Public Schools has partnered with Fairfax County Government to provide an educational webinar on youth substance use trends and supports.

For additional information, please contact the Student Safety and Wellness Office at 571-423-4270.