Working together to

prevent substance abuse

in Chesterfield County, VA


What's New

SAFE Latino Coalition Launches July 30, 2014SAFE Latino Coalition Launches July 30, 2014

 SAFE is partnering with the Latino Community in the formation of the SAFE Latino Coalition. The kick-off event will be held on Wednesday, July 30 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Meadowdale Library, 4301 Meadowdale Blvd., North Chesterfield, VA 23234. Our featured speaker is Tony Farjardo, coordinator for Futuro Latino Coalition in Harrisonburg, VA.

The SAFE Latino Coalition will be based in Chesterfield but will be servicing Richmond and the surrounding areas. Juan Santacoloma, Chesterfield County Multi-Cultural Liaison, will be the coalition coordinator. Come and be a part of this newly developing program! All are welcomed to attend. Meetings will be conducted in Spanish with English interpretation. English event flyers and Spanish event flyers available for distribution. 

Save the Date!  Marijuana Decriminalization or Legalization:  The REAL Impact on VirginiaSave the Date! Marijuana Decriminalization or Legalization: The REAL Impact on Virginia

SAFE in partnership with Caron and Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Drug Courts is hosting an educational training specifically targeting Legislators, Judges and Commonwealth Attorneys.  Monte Stiles, nationally recognized former United States prosecuting attorney and DEA agent for nearly 30 years, will share first-hand experience from the field.  Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn more about the potential impact marijuana could have on Virginia.  For more information and to register, visit

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Medication take-back a huge success!Medication take-back a huge success!

Over 400 persons brought 1,029 pounds of medications to the medication take-back at Bon Secours St. Francis Watkins Center on April 26. This broke all previous take-back records. Since the first medication take-back in 2010, nearly five tons of medications have been collected. We will post the date of the next medication take-back when it has been determined. 

Stop Youth Access of Tobacco and Nicotine ProductsStop Youth Access of Tobacco and Nicotine Products

Beginning July 1, 2014 retailers are banned from selling electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors. This new legislation also mandates that all retailers post a sign with the updated language stating that the sale of e-cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to any person under 18 years of age is prohibited by law. SAFE Tobacco Taskforce is doing a Merchant Education Initiative during the summer months in which they are visiting designated merchants and supplying them with information, education and tools relating to the July 1 law.  For more tools and tips about this law, visit  

Click here to see a powerful ad regarding kids and smoking.

Marijuana conference held March 13-14Marijuana conference held March 13-14

The legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes is a controversial topic around the nation. On March 13 and 14, SAFE and Community Coalitions of Virginia hosted "Marijuana? Virginia's Big Question!" in Richmond. The conference featured local and national speakers who addressed potential consequences of legalization from medical, educational and policy viewpoints. Click here for speakers, here for a power point with Virginia and local statistics about marijuana and here for Danielle Dick's presentation on the genetic influenences of addiction, and here for a list of marijuana resources.

Drinks Could Cost More Than You Think

SAFE is running a media campaign to create awareness of the cost of a DUI. The campaign is focused on preventing alcohol-related crashes among young adults 18-26 years old. SAFE is also partnerting with state and local police to increase enforcement. Click on the picture to view the commercial. Click here for costs of receiving a DUI.

SAFE receives 2014 Dose of Prevention award

SAFE was recognized for increasing awareness of the dangers of over-the-counter cough medicine abuse on February 6 with the 2014 Dose of Prevention Award. Presented by the Mr. Scott Melville, CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (on the left in the picture) and Gen. Arthur Dean, CEO of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (on the right), the award included a $1500 cash prize and the production of a five-minute video about SAFE's medication abuse prevention efforts, which was shown at the awards ceremony. To view the video, click here.

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SAFE releases on-line annual reportSAFE releases on-line annual report

SAFE has broken new ground with its first electronic annual report. Click here for an overview of what SAFE accomplished during 2012-13 with its partners, along with some great pictures!

Prevent cough medicine abuse

The percentage of youths in Chesterfield County abusing over-the-counter  medicines containing the chemical DXM (a cough suppressant) is more than three times the national average (click here for statistics). DXM is an ingredient in more than 100 cough and combined cough/cold medicines in the form of liquids, capsules, tablets and lozenges. Parents should look for the message pictured above, which is printed on the packaging of all medicines containing DXM. Keep these medicines secure, monitor quantities and talk to your children about the dangers of abuse.

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SAFE recognizes its champions

SAFE recently presented Juan Santacoloma, Chesterfield County's Multicultural Liaison, with the Sharyl W. Adams Award, an annual award recognizing "exemplary contribution to community engagement for the prevention of substance abuse" for his assistance in connecting SAFE with the Latino community. Michelle Burchett of Chesterfield County Public Affairs received the Media Champion Award and Glen Miller received the 21st Century Champion Award. SAFE applauds the contributions these persons have made to the work of the coalition.


SAFE holds Lock Your Meds® campaign

Are you making it easier for  teens to abuse medications? Seventy percent of teens who abuse medications say they get them from family or friends. Protect young people from abusing medications by securing them in a locked container or cabinet. Click here for information about an inexpensive lock box. Click here to view SAFE's print ad and here for the cable ad. Click here for more information about medication abuse. Lock Your Meds ® is an initiative of National Family Partnership.

A Personal Story

Michelle Anderson, an active member of SAFE, told her story at Journey Christian Church and has courageously agreed to share her story with a wider audience. Many teens in a recent focus group answered the question "What would it take for your friends NOT to drink alcohol?" with "serious injury or death of someone they love." Watch the video of Michelle's story here. She hopes others will learn from her experience and be spared the heartbreak she brought on herself and others.