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Guarding against Realities of Substance Abuse

Forum slated for March 4 at Madison High.

Parents/guardians and their middle school and high school students are invited and encouraged to attend together the upcoming program, “Protecting Against the Realities of Substance Abuse.” It’s set for Tuesday, March 4, at 7 p.m., at Madison High, 2500 James Madison Drive, in Vienna.

Madison’s PTSA is sponsoring this program in the school’s Warhawk Hall and it’s open to the community. It’s organized by Parents Reaching Out To Educate Communities Together (P.R.O.T.E.C.T.), a task force of the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County (UPC).

It’s also part of UPC's efforts to reach the community with the signs and symptoms of teenage drug abuse, what actions parents can take and where to find supportive resources.

“Our program makes an impact on each audience because of the very personal stories of the dangers of substance abuse told by our panel of parents, young adults in recovery and professionals working in this area,” said Jennifer Lewis-Cooper, UPC’s P.R.O.T.E.C.T. coordinator.

Panelists will include Greg Richter, parent of a daughter in recovery; Tayler Gibson, a young adult in recovery; Bill Fulton, School Resource Officer (SRO) coordinator, Fairfax County Police Department; Paula King, intake officer, Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court; Desiree Gordon, clinical supervisor, Falls Church Youth & Family Services, Falls

Church/Fairfax Community Services Board; and Lewis-Cooper.

UPC is a nonprofit organization comprised of more than 60 community partners and members, including Fairfax County Public Schools and the Fairfax County Police Department. For more information about this program, contact Jennifer Lewis-Cooper at jalcooper@aol.com or visit www.unifiedpreventioncoalition.org.