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Annual Report Check out what we’re doing!





Lynette Breeden,

Assistant Youth Pastor, Chester Christian Church

e n y a W . h G t i Fr ve i t cu r of e Ex ecto Dir AFE S

Meet The SAFE Family

I have worked with SAFE on several levels. My initial contact was a Public Health School nurse, then as a parent and most recently working with our church families and youth. After attending Cafe Conversations as a parent, I felt like the parents in our church would benefit from the message. They helped us start the conversation between teens and parents about substance abuse and healthy choices. We are looking to partner with them again in the spring to implement a Parent Pod. They are truly a community coalition partnering with numerous organizations to help spread their message. They get down to the grass roots level and motivate others to join them in spreading their message. I feel very fortunate to be one of their partners and know my family and community have benefited greatly.

Hello! Carol Szackmary


Chris Manzella,

Vice President    Virginia Broadcast Solutions

I work closely on media outreach programs for a number of Virginia state government agencies. Chesterfield SAFE is a top notch, well organized, and detail-oriented organization. A very active group of coalition members work hard and take great pride in developing solutions that are both cost efficient and effective in communicating with the residents of this community. Chesterfield SAFE truly lives up to the potentially lifesaving standards implied by their name.

Michelle Burchett,

Public Affairs Specialist, Chesterfield County Department of Public Affairs

I am amazed at the incredible impact Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc., or SAFE, a Chesterfield, VA coalition, has had in reducing inhalant abuse among


county youths. SAFE’s Inhalant Abuse Prevention Initiative resulted in past 30-day use among eighth-graders falling from 8.2 percent in 2005 to 4.5 percent in 2007 and to 3.0 percent in 2010. This represents a 63 percent reduction over five years, which is markedly lower than the national average of 4.1 percent. Another successful initiative included partnering with HVAC companies to install locking caps on air conditioner units to prevent unauthorized access by youths who inhale the refrigerant - which could be deadly. This environmental approach has drawn the attention of the White House - The Office of Drug Control Policy noted this environmental approach in its newsletter. By bringing the community together - county departments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, residents and the faith-based community - initiatives are established that bring positive results. Not only has SAFE helped make county youths safer and healthier, but they have earned


international respect and are soughtafter speakers on drug-prevention issues. I encourage others to get involved with SAFE.

Mary Garber,

Child Safety Coordinator for Chesterfield County Police Department `

After a few years most successful coalitions have either slowed down in their efforts or at least leveled off in their achievements. That is NOT true of SAFE (Substance Abuse Free Environment). SAFE continues to “raise the bar”. I believe that one reason for SAFE’s continuing success is due to this being a true coalition. It is a living organization that is not built on personality or achievements. The leadership is strong, the vision is clear and the mission is being accomplished.

Did you know that we're a Great Nonprofit? To read our reviews:

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Carol Sczakmary: Youth Development Specialist, Chesterfield County Youth Planning and Development, and SAFE Events Coordinator; Maya Brewer: SAFE Community Coordinator; Sharyl Adams: Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist, Chesterfield County Youth Planning and Development, Regina Whitsett: SPF-SIG Coordinator; Katelyn Speer: SPF-SIG Assistant Coordinator

Hello! Katelyn Speer

Hello! Hello! Maya Brewer

Sharyl Adams

Hello! Regina Whitsett

Data Collected Among Chesterfield Youths Grades 8, 10 & 12 from Nov. 2007 to Feb. 2012

During those years we have seen Successes and Challenges



Percentages of youths who:

Percentages of youths who:

Used alcohol during their lifetimes fell 13.6% Used alcohol within a specific 30-day period fell by 14.2% Used cigarettes during their lifetimes fell 16.5% Used cigarettes within a 30-day period fell 19.5% Misused sedatives during their lifetimes decreased19.6% Misused sedatives during a 30-day period fell 5.3% Misused prescription narcotics in their lifetimes decreased 13.3% Misused prescription narcotics in a 30-day period fell 3.1% Engaged in binge drinking fell 10.6% Smoke 1/2 pack a day of cigarettes or more fell 27.3% Drove after drinking fell 36.9% Rode with someone else who had been drinking fell 18.2% Used inhalants in a 30-day period decreased 28% between 2005 and 2012


Misused prescription stimulants during their lifetimes rose 68.3% Misused stimulants during a 30-day period rose 128.6% Used marijuana during their lifetimes rose 18.1% Used marijuana during a 30-day period rose 17.5% Percentage of eighth graders who used marijuana during a 30-day period rose 100%

These are some of the many reasons why

SAFE Does The Things We Do

Henry’s Story Henry had grown accustomed to winning. He was a leader in academics, in athletics and in relationships. He had a team spirit and a sharp wit about him and often encouraged others to achieve their best. Henry’s close-knit family also offered him stability socially and financially. He earned the honor of Eagle Scout during his junior year of high school. After successfully completing his studies at St. Christopher’s School, Henry enrolled at James Madison University with a bright future in view. But Henry discovered one challenge that he had never anticipated: addiction. After an athletic injury, he was prescribed pain medication. He never suspected that he was “hard wired” for this disease. With the love and support of family and friends, Henry fought diligently toward recovery. But on September 19, 2010, alcohol and pain killers won the battle. Henry left his family and friends behind to sort out what could have been a preventable death. We at SAFE care about people like Henry. We know the devastation that substance abuse causes in individuals, families and society. And we are committed to helping prevent tragedies like Henry’s. For more information about Henry and the JHW Foundation created in his honor:

Click here!

Photo by Leney Breeden, A Girl Named Leney

Check out what the

SAFE Teen Ambassad

Office of National Drug Control Policy said about the Buddy2Buddy program when they visited Ettrick in March of 2013.

Click Here! To see a video of the program in action check out the SAFE YouTube Channel:



Cultivating Lives “…I really do take passion in this program. I am aware that kids and children are the future of tomorrow and it is essential for them to receive the right type (of) mentorship. I tend to compare the life of a human to that of a fruit. If the fruit when it is a seed receives proper nourishment and cultivation then that fruit will turn out and grow to be a good fruit…If the seed isn’t properly nurtured one would expect otherwise.” ~DeJohn, 2013 Teen Ambassador SAFE and our partners value empowering youths to make a difference in our community! By being positive role models to younger children, high school volunteers in our Teen Ambassadors / Buddy2Buddy program provide friendship

dors / Buddy 2 Buddy Program

To see photos of the 2013 Chesterfield County School Board recognizing this year’s Teen Ambassadors, check out our

Facebook Profile. Here! To find out more information about the program or to get involved:

to elementary-aged children after school, deliver substancefree messages, help with homework, and have fun. In the 2012-2013 school year, 43 Teen Ambassadors helped 62 children in third through fifth grade at Bellwood, Chalkley and Ettrick elementary schools in Chesterfield County. The children learned to make positive life choices about alcohol and other drugs. These Teen Ambassadors volunteered for the 10-week sessions during the fall, spring or both sessions. Stay tuned for the 2013-2014 expansion efforts of this crossage mentoring program. SAFE and community partners will be hosting Teen Ambassadors in more elementary schools and two neighborhoods. An inaugural 2013 summer pilot launched in July in the Beulah community in collaboration with First Touch Sports and Beulah United Methodist Church.

Click Here! SAFE can’t implement programs like this without your generous gcontributions.

To Donate:

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0 Want to see more event photos?

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Dispelling the Myth:

“Everybody’s doing it!” How often do we see in the media reports regarding the latest teen drunk-driving fatality, binge-drinking episodes, or kids bringing vodka to school in their water bottles? And the list goes on. The more stories that are reported, the more the myth that “everybody’s doing it” continues to perpetuate. Often parents and kids think the myth is true, that this is normal teen behavior. The truth is, in Chesterfield County, not every teen is abusing alcohol and drugs.

liaison, and the Virginia Commonwealth University Wellness Center, we were able to bring families together to foster conversations regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs, the effects on the developing human brain, and the implications of what the data reveals about substance use among county youths. Through Café Conversations, a dinner event with interactive discussion elements designed for parents and their fifth through eighth grade students, nearly 150 families were empowered.

Here at SAFE, it’s all about working together as a community, reaching out to our neighbors with the assistance of our partners to give parents and kids the knowledge and tools to deal with the myth, and to uphold the positive standard of taking care of your body and your developing brain. It’s cool to wait until 21 to drink and to choose not to take harmful drugs!

A local Communities In Schools coordinator, who hosted an event, brought her eighth grade son along for the evening. Though he was there to help out, he participated in the children’s session, which focused on their desired future goals and what could happen if drugs and alcohol were introduced into their developing lives. When kids joined their parents to discuss what they had learned, this coordinator learned things that she had never known about her son and a deep conversation ensued. “The event was personally very meaningful to me in ways that I hadn’t expected,” she explained.

This year, through collaboration with Communities In Schools of Chesterfield County, Chesterfield County Mental Health Support Services, school resource officers, local faith groups, Chesterfield County’s multicultural

One Ettrick Elementary School parent emailed the school staff stating, “I just wanted to say thank you for such a fantastic evening last night. That was a wonderful program! The food was also yummy!”

SAFE Cafe Conversations

If your school or church would like to host an event or for more information:

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To view the television spot:

Click Here To listen to the Spanish version of the radio spot:

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Awarded The Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant “Drinks Could Cost More Than You Think” In an effort to reduce alcohol-related crashes among 18-24 year olds, SAFE and a variety of community partners, including (but not limited to) the Martin Agency, WWBT-NBC12, Virginia Broadcast Solutions, Village Bank, Chesterfield County Police, and Virginia State Police, created and launched the SPF-SIG campaign targeting males and the potential costs of being charged with a DUI. The campaign also heightened awareness of increased collaborative law enforcement by both Chesterfield County Police and Virginia State Police along four major corridors within Chesterfield County during the months of June, July and August, which data revealed as the peak months for alcohol-related crashes. The campaign was conducted via billboards, television and radio. The billboards and radio spots were also presented in Spanish to reach out to Chesterfield County’s growing Hispanic population. College students and other young adults from the community assisted in concept evaluation, project development and production.

Have You Ever Been Paid To Bar Hop? Madison has! And so have nearly 20 other young adults aged 21-26. “I was looking for a ‘different’ type of job, with a flexible schedule,” said Madison, a 22-year-old Chesterfield County resident. “I appreciated learning about SAFE and having the opportunity to work in the mission of preventing DUI and underage drinking. Getting paid to bar hop for the greater good of our community…who would have thought that would be possible.” Basically, Madison and other committed young adults, going out in teams of two, are paid to ensure that area bars and restaurants are checking patrons’ IDs before serving them alcohol. If the bartender complies with the law, these surveyors congratulate them, offer them the “Drinks Cost More Than You Think” posters to hang in their restroom stalls, and count them as a community partner with SAFE. NO alcohol is consumed while surveyors are working for SAFE. A small stipend is given to the teams to cover costs of opened containers.

She Has!


SAFE Creativity: The Key To Youth Involvement Through a variety of methods, SAFE, community partners, parents, and committed young people work together to positively affect Chesterfield County.

Going Undercover! With our Underage Alcohol Compliance Checks, 18 high school juniors and seniors were trained this year and sent in pairs along with undercover police officers to area restaurants. Under the watchful gaze of the plain-clothed officers, the youths attempted to purchase alcohol from the waiters to see if they would be carded. If the youths were not carded, officers wrote a citation. If they were carded, a congratulations was offered and a thank you card. A fullpage ad was also printed in the local newspaper stating which establishments complied and which ones didn’t. Participating teens also received a small stipend for their time and the satisfaction of knowing that they may be preventing some of their peers from buying alcohol and ending up hurt in a fight, injured in a car wreck or sexually assaulted by someone under the influence. For more information:

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Designing The Set! Corrin Brewer used her talents to paint a media backdrop of SAFE’s logo. Thanks to her contribution, SAFE has a more professional look for in-office television interviews.

Singing A Good Cause! During the holidays, SAFE highlighted its compliance checks initiative with teens from Veritas School playing an active role through radio ads and a television interview that included the “Take Action Quartet” singing “Compliance Checks are Coming to Town,” a spoofy rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” To see the video:

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“Acting Up” But Not For Real! In Student vs. Marijuana, a middle school student acts the part of a young person who has been caught with marijuana at school. Through a 30-minute dramatization, middle school students watch their fellow student being caught, tried and convicted of possession, and the longterm consequences that result. The actors involved in these productions are local professionals including judges, prosecutors, school principals, school resource officers, bailiffs, and parents. For more information:

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Public Relations 101! SAFE has many occasions to be out in public with our display table. Often we have young people join us as we greet the public and give away valuable resources. From time to time, young people also assist SAFE in gathering survey information at our community events.



Preventing Medication Abuse With Medication Take Backs & Medication Abuse Summits


Attacking a National Epidemic:

Prescription Medication Abuse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared prescription-drug abuse a national epidemic. In Chesterfield County, teens are abusing medications at rates that are up to three times higher than the national average. To address this complex problem, SAFE organized a series of four summits from October 2010 until April 2013. As a result of the summits, community awareness has increased, partnerships have formed and strategies are being implemented, including the distribution of educational materials and the training of health care professionals. The Chesterfield County Police Department, in partnership with SAFE and other community partners, has held 16 medication take-back events since 2010, through which more than 2,300 people have brought in nearly 7,600 pounds of medications for environmentally-safe disposal. “There has been an unprecedented rise in overdose deaths related to prescription drug abuse over the last decade,” said Dr. Parham Jaberi, director, Chesterfield Health District. “The SAFE summits have provided an excellent opportunity for a variety of stakeholders from Chesterfield County, the Commonwealth, and representatives from the public, private, and academic institutions to brainstorm about how to address this growing public health epidemic in our communities.” Preliminary feedback indicates positive community change, with a 14 percent drop in the use of narcotic prescription drugs among high school seniors from 2010 to 2012.

To get involved with this issue, check out SAFE’s Proper Use of Legal Products Task Force:

Click Here!


SAFE Use, You Lose: Stressing the Consequences of Substance Abuse In one of SAFE’s longest-standing initiatives, Use, You Lose, we partner with the school

system and child safety officers from the Chesterfield County Police Department to reach children from kindergarten through grade 12 and their parents. Use, You Lose is designed to increase awareness of consequences for underage drinking, smoking and the illegal use of other substances. Child safety officers provide age-appropriate lessons in elementary schools through the Success through Education and Proactive Policing (STEPP) program. Once students enter 5th grade they receive a Use, You Lose sports bag with a parent/student contract brochure inside for discussion and signing with their parents. As part of their instruction, 5th graders learn the consequences of violating school policies regarding substance use, such as suspension for being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, loss of extracurricular activities for 45 days and expulsion for drug possession. They also grow in their awareness of other consequences of substance use such as the negative effects on physical and mental health and on relationships with their parents and friends, as well as the risk of injuries, addiction and even death. Â As students continue through their middle and high school years, parents and students receive vital information and visual reminders of the Use, You Lose campaign. For more information:

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To see helpful tips for parents of middle and high school students:

To view the brochure for parents of high school students:

Click Here!

Click Here!

To see the family contract:

To donate to the SAFE cause:

Click Here!

Click Here!

SAFE A Word From Our Executive There was a river that flowed by a village. The future of the village depended upon the presence of healthy fish in the river. Over time, the river became polluted with chemicals that harmed the fish. The villagers decided to try to save their fish by catching as many as they could with nets and putting them into man-made ponds where they had fresh oxygenated water and nutritious food. Once the fish were strong and healthy, the villagers returned them to the river to go about making a future for themselves and for the village, but the river grew more polluted as time passed and many fish died. One day, a villager appeared before the council with a way to clean up the river so that all fish could live healthier and contribute in the manner for which they were intended. SAFE calls together residents to clean up our cultural “river” by preventing and reducing chemical (drug) abuse at an environmental level. Two notable examples of environmental change are SAFE’s medication take backs and compliance checks which have reduced the access to and potential abuse of prescription drugs and alcohol to minors. Won’t you join us in continued efforts to clean up the river for the health of our community and families?

Thanks to the Community Without the kind assistance of many individuals, county agencies, other nonprofits, and local businesses, SAFE wouldn’t exist. We’d like to extend our deep appreciation to the following individuals who serve on the SAFE Board of Directors: Dr. Glen Miller, chair

Shelby Brown

Megan Gordon

Cris Sheppard

Jody Enoch, vice chair

Fred Carreras

Dr. Bancroft Greene

J. Patrick Slifka

Eileen Brown, secretary

Jana Carter

Leslie Haley

Mary Wright

Patricia Selk, treasurer

Dr. Imad Damaj

Dr. Linda Hancock

Melissa Ackley

Col. Thierry Dupuis

Dr. Santresda Johnson

Ken Batten

Mary Garber

Patricia Mullen

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations that contributed monetary or in-kind gifts or both for fiscal year 2012-2013: Individuals: Sharyl Adams Bryan Ahn John and Kimberli Burgner

Organizations: A-Z Heating & Air A Girl Named Leney Bon Secours Health System Barnes Heating & Cooling

Imad Damaj

Brandermill Rotary Club

Wayne Frith

Chester Christian Church

Mary Garber

Chesterfield Communities In Schools

Dr. Bancroft and Susan Greene

Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office

Dr. Bill Harp Linsey Holmes

Chesterfield County Health Department

Dr. Barbara Lester

Chesterfield County Juvenile Probation

Noah Lively

Chesterfield County Mental Health Support Services

Edward and Victoria Marks

Chesterfield Observer Dominion Service Company Gordon, Dodson, Gordon & Rowlett First Touch Sports John Tyler Community College-Chester Campus

Virginia Poison Center

LAMAR Advertising

Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons

Lin Jarrett Heating & Air Conditioning

Virginia State University

Midlothian Mechanical

WCVE Community Idea Stations

Network for Good

Web Strategies Inc.

Psychiatric Society of VA

Wildes & Company PLLC

Regional Drug-Free Alliance

Woodfin Heating and Oil

Safeguard Printing and Promotions

John and Sheila Peddy

Chesterfield County Public Affairs Department

United Way Donators

Joe Seddon

Chesterfield County Public Schools Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Department

Thomas and Paula Wriston

Chesterfield County Youth Planning & Development

Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia Orthopedic Society

The JHW Foundation

Sunita and Shantaram Talegaonkar

Virginia Broadcast Solutions

John Tyler ASAP

Chesterfield County Police Department

Dr. Glen and Marsha Miller

Virginia Academy of Family Physicians

The Progress-Index

WRLH-TV FOX RICHMOND WRIC-TV8 WWBT-TV NBC 12 12th District Juvenile Court

Universal Heating & Plumbing University of Richmond VA Chapter, American College of Radiology Village News

For our Fiscal information:

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Individual volunteers for SAFE donated 1,855 hours of service. A special thanks to the Regional Drug-Free Alliance for providing SAFE with free office space and to the staff at Chesterfield County Youth Planning and Development for their many hours of in-kind support.


SAFE Recognized Its Champions

Some individuals were particularly notable in their contributions to SAFE for the 2012-2013 year.

Dr. Parham Jaberi, Director of the Chesterfield Health District, received the Sharyl W. Adams Award, an annual award recognizing “exemplary contribution to community engagement for the prevention of substance abuse.” Chase Tunnell of Dominion Service Company received SAFE’s Corporate Champion Award for his work in promoting and providing locking caps for area air conditioning units to prevent inhalant abuse. Mark Tenia of WRIC TV 8 received the Media Champion Award for his outstanding and consistent coverage of messages alerting parents and the public to dangerous substances and drug trends among area youth. Dr. Bancroft Greene received the 21st Century Champion Award for his longstanding support as a faithful and dedicated board member and partner of SAFE.

Partnerships Helped SAFE Win National & State Awards

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized SAFE’s compliance check initiative as a “Bright Idea.” SAFE, in partnership with the Chesterfield Police Department, conducted alcohol compliance checks, recognized clerks and stores that complied with the law, and built community partnerships with retail outlets. These collective efforts resulted in a 75 percent decrease in sales of alcohol to minors from off-premise alcohol outlets.

SAFE’s locking caps initiative, a partnership with local heating and air conditioning companies to install locking valve caps on air conditioning units to prevent refrigerant huffing, received an Injury Prevention Award from the Virginia Department of Health and an Innovation Award from the National Association of Counties. The Virginia Poison Center also partnered in this initiative.

SAAVVY’S inaugural launch highlighted SAFE Wayne Frith, SAFE’s executive director, was the featured speaker for the Governor’s SAAVVY

(Substance Abuse Awareness Vital for Virginia Youth) launch held in November at James River High School. Gail Jaspen, chief deputy director, Virginia Department of Forensic Science, tapped SAFE as the model of what healthy collaborative efforts should look like in the fight against substance abuse in Virginia. The ongoing SAAVVY campaign seeks to create a collaborative partnership among agencies, public and private, for the benefit of educating and safeguarding Virginia’s youth in schools and communities throughout the state. Education will focus on the dangers of bath salts, synthetic cannabinoids, prescription drugs, alcohol, inhalants and other commonly abused substances.

America, and SAFE’s name kept being mentioned as one of the outstanding coalitions in the nation,” said Allan Porowski of ICF International, the company conducting the national evaluation of coalitions for ONDCP. After holding 10 individual and group meetings with SAFE’s board and partners, Porowski said that there is evidence that SAFE has become organic, with partners recruiting partners. SAFE embraces partnerships as essential to its mission of engaging our community in working together to prevent substance abuse.

ONDCP visited SAFE The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) selected SAFE as one of nine coalitions to be evaluated to determine why it is one of the most effective substance abuse prevention nonprofits in the nation. “We talked with leading organizations including the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Anti-drug Coalitions of

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Partners on the front cover photo (L to R): Tim Bullis, Director of Community Relations for Chesterfield County Public Schools, Dr. Marcus Newsome, Superintendent for Chesterfield County Public Schools, Dr. Parham Jaberi, Director of Chesterfield County Health District, Don Kappel, Director of Public Affairs for Chesterfield County, Wayne Frith, Executive Director for SAFE, and Col. Thierry Dupuis, Chief of Police for Chesterfield County Design work for the entire annual by Joe Seddon

Profile for Chesterfield SAFE

2012-2013 SAFE Annual Report  

Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc (SAFE) is a nonprofit located in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Our aim is to decrease the harmful effe...

2012-2013 SAFE Annual Report  

Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc (SAFE) is a nonprofit located in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Our aim is to decrease the harmful effe...