News from the SAS Team

Monthly updates on current events, education and resources

summer is almost here!

Our students are looking forward to a well-deserved summer break after a year of finding resiliency amid a variety of challenges. Now is the time to help them prepare to rest and recharge in a safe way and make healthy decisions in social settings. Click below for an article from about helping your student stay safe and sober during the summer.

Summer Break Supports

Unfortunately, teen substance abuse does not take a summer vacation. In fact, studies have shown that teens are more likely to start using substances during the months of June and July than any other month of the year. This could be due to a decrease in adult supervision and an increase in freedom for our teens, as well as a decrease in structure due to school not being in session.

With the supports available during the school year not being accessible, what is a parent to do if they are worried about their teen’s substance use? Fortunately, there are still supports available to students and families in the community. As a parent, you can always take your student to see their Primary Care Physician to be medically evaluated, and to discuss your substance abuse concerns. This could lead to referrals for substance abuse therapists. You can also contact your insurance company directly to get referrals for therapists/programs that are covered by your insurance plan. Another option as a Loudoun County resident, is to contact Loudoun County Mental Health Substance Abuse and Developmental Services. They have a 24-hour emergency services phone line (703-777-0320), as well as a crisis center that is open from 7am until 11pm 7 days per week (102 Heritage Way NE Suite 102 Leesburg, VA 20176). Clinicians there can make recommendations for substance abuse treatment and can assist in referrals for detox or rehab.

Families are also able to receive support through Al-Anon family groups ( These groups provide support for people who are struggling with the substance use of a loved one. Al-Anon meetings occur throughout the week at various locations, and many meetings are offered virtually as well. There is no cost to participate in these groups.

Check out our recent presentations!

What Parents Need to Know: Legalization of Marijuana in VA

On April 7, 2021, the legalization of marijuana in Virginia was accelerated to begin on July 1, 2021. Members of the LCPS Student Assistance Team gave a presentation for parents on Thursday, April 29th titled “What Parents Need to Know: Legalization of Marijuana in Virginia and the Potential Impact on Teens." The presentation outlined information about the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, lessons learned from other states, impact of marijuana use on teen brain development and how parents can address this topic with their students. The full presentation and slides can be viewed at the following links. If you have any questions or are interested in further information, contact the Student Assistance Team Supervisor, Jen Evans, at


Link to Presentation Slides:

What's New In Teen Substance Use?

On May 13th, 2021, The SAS Team gave a virtual presentation for parents focused on current trends in teen substance use. Topics of focus included the impact of COVID-19 on teen use, substance use and social media, Marijuana, e-cigarettes/vaping and strategies for navigating these conversations with teens. The recorded presentation can be found at

Parent Resource Services / Welcome ( If you have any questions or need further information, email the Student Assistance Program Supervisor, Jen Evans, at

Who are Student Assistance Specialists?

Student Assistance Specialists have master’s degrees in social work or counseling and are frequently licensed by the Virginia Board of Social Work or Counseling. They have expertise in the fields of substance use and mental health. As members of the Unified Mental Health Team, Student Assistance Specialists advance LCPS initiatives of Substance Use Prevention, Social Emotional Learning and Suicide Prevention through K-12 education, support, prevention, intervention, referral services, staff development and consultation.

Student Assistance Specialists provide services and interventions designed to enhance the social, emotional and academic success of students by helping to address the needs of the whole child. The foundation of these interventions is a strength-based service delivery model focusing on developmental assets, risk/protective factors, prevention education and resiliency skill building.

To find your school's SAS assignment, visit our website listed below.

Education and Support Resources

Increase Your Knowledge - Parent/Student SUD information - Alcohol Information - Drug Information - Tobacco and E-Cig Information - Easy-to-read drug facts - COVID-19 & Substance Use—Stanford study on vaping increasing COVID-19 risk - DEA website - drug-specific information, pill identifiers, social media trends— Addiction Policy Forum website—provides educational videos and articles - Education and tips for parents on talking to their children about substance use

Support for you as a Loved One - Resource for families - Online Support Community for parents/caregivers - Support for family members of someone struggling with addiction—Zoom meetings—Support for children of parents struggling with addiction—Zoom meetings - Find online Alateen meetings—Addiction Policy Forum website for finding and navigating the treatment experience

Find a Treatment Provider - SAMHSA treatment locator

1-800-662-HELP (4357) TTY: 1-800-487-4889 - SAMSHA National Helpline - Online Recovery Community: Self-Management and Recovery Training Recovery community based on Buddhist Principles, virtual meetings available—Virtual Narcotics Anonymous meetings - Virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings - LCPS listing of community treatment providers