PRESS RELEASE: Violent Crimes Increase as Drug Trend Changes
Stimulant Use on the Rise in the Northern Shenandoah Valley


URGENT….Opioid Overdose Increase Reported in the Northern Shenandoah Valley



URGENT….Opioid Overdose Increase Reported in the Northern Shenandoah Valley

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Alternatives Offered for Clients Served by
Suboxone Clinics Involved in Investigation

UPDATE:  Click here for Updated List of Treatment Providers Offering Medication-Assisted Treatment

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition has learned that as part of an ongoing investigation the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) executed federal search warrants Wednesday morning at two Suboxone clinics in Front Royal.  NSVSAC officials want clients to avoid the risk of relapse, if there is an interruption in treatment, by seeking help at other treatment centers.  Please click here here for the full release.


“New Drug Prevention Initiative Designed to
Give Youth a Reason to Say No to Drugs”

check-presentation-2018The Rotary Club of Winchester in partnership with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition (NSVSAC) has been named the recipient of a Rotary Foundation Global Grant that aims to give youth a reason to say “no” to drugs, identify early substance use, and intervene before more severe consequences occur. On Thursday, August 9th the Rotary Club of Winchester presented leaders from the NSVSAC with a check for $91,000 for the “Give Me a Reason” youth drug prevention initiative.

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Last year 40 people in the Northern Shenandoah Valley died of a heroin/opiate overdose. Help us prevent the misuse of prescriptions by disposing of your unused or expired medications today! Drug Take Back Locations. Drop them off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no questions asked.


Did you know that 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted and for people who begin using before the age of 18, that number rises to 1 in 6. Marijuana use affects the brain! As parents, we protect our children by securing them in a car seat, making sure they wear a bike helmet, and holding their hand when we cross the road. Why then would we allow them to use marijuana when it affects their brain development? Allowing marijuana use will give addiction one foot in the door. According to the CDC marijuana can also affect the circulatory system and may increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Learn more about how marijuana affects the brain and body. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects.htm


 Leaders with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition (NSVSAC) want to remind residents that the organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and donations are tax deductible.  Substance Abuse Coalition Seeks End of Year Donations

Voices of Addiction_Web Image
Click here to view the video  

October Substance Abuse Flier.v4

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition is teaming up with local Rotary Clubs to bring awareness about substance use and addiction.  This flyer is being posted throughout the community to send a message about how drugs are destroying lives and families.  In addition, Valley Health produced a video featuring five individuals in recovery from our community.  TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY KNOW NOW, CLICK HERE Local Interact students are also providing awareness with outreach efforts in the local school systems.  The message is clear, if you or someone you know needs help, reach out.

PRESS RELEASE:  Rotary Clubs Partner to Raise Awareness About Addiction

 Public Service Announcements


Public Health Alert: Increase in Overdoses
Since Monday, agents with the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force have responded to eight overdoses in Winchester and Frederick County. Lab results will determine the narcotics used in the overdoses, but investigators believe five of the cases involved heroin and the other three involved synthetic drugs. The victims of the overdoses are expected to survive.
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Second Annual Employer Forum
On June 14th the Northern Shenandoah Valley Re-Entry Council held it’s Second Annual Employer Forum titled, Evolve Your Workforce: the Benefits of Hiring Ex-Offenders.  Click here to learn more about the information that was shared on incentives for employers who hire returning citizens.
WHAG Story:  Community Learns About Importance of Hiring Ex-Offenders

Pictured from left to right: CEO of the United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Nadine Pottinga, Public Defender Tim Coyne, Judge Beth Kellas, Executive Director of the NSVSAC Lauren Cummings, and NSVSAC Executive Committee Member Steve Cluss.

United Way Presents Substance Abuse Coalition with a Check for the Drug Treatment Court
The United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley presented the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition on May 20th with a check for $25,000 to support the treatment of participants in the Drug Treatment Court which will begin operation in July.
Making an Impact: United Way NSV Announces 2016-2017 Impact Grant Awards

Public Service Announcements
You can hear the following Public Service Announcements by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition on 92.5 WINC FM, B105 (104.9 and 105.5 FM), NewsTalk 1400, and on WINC TV Comcast Cable 15.

Valley Feedback
Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition Executive Director Lauren Cummings appeared on the Centennial Broadcasting Valley Feedback Show to talk about the efforts of the Coalition.

CVS Pharmacies Sell Naloxone Without a Prescription
CVS Pharmacies in Virginia are now selling the overdose reversal drug Naloxone without a prescription.  Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition Executive Director Lauren Cummings was interviewed by WHAG-TV about this new development.

The Addiction Crisis: A Community’s Response

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association hosted a statewide webinar on April 20, 2016 to highlight the efforts of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition.  More than 300 individuals from across the Commonwealth listened as Dr. Nicolas Restrepo, VP of Medical Affairs at Winchester Medical Center, Winchester Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher, and Public Defender Tim Coyne discussed the intersecting factors associated with opiate misuse, and the ways our community is combating the issue.

Life Catalyst Program
Life Catalyst Promotional Flyer 2016

is designed to help people overcome setbacks and addictions and aid individuals in being productive in society and content in their lives. The curriculum is down-to-earth and easy to learn. The instructors are caring individuals who have overcome difficulties in their own life experiences. All classes are 100% FREE and open to anyone seeking help.

Efforts to Curb the Nations Deadly Heroin Epidemic
The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio recently focused on the heroin epidemic and featured a panel of experts, including Virginia State Police Sgt. Jay Perry of the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force.

Overdose Death Linked to Abuse of Anti-Diarrheal Medication
January 8, 2016

“Heroin: The Hardest Hit”

Heroin-the Hardest HitAttorney General Mark R. Herring is proud to present Heroin: The Hardest Hit, a powerful documentary on the heroin and prescription drug epidemic and its effects on Virginians. The film examines the epidemic from all angles with Virginians sharing their own stories of addiction and overdose, testimony from parents who lost their children to an overdose, and insights from law enforcement and public health professionals who are working to address the crisis.  To request a free DVD of Heroin: The Hardest Hit click here.

Partnership for Drug Free Kids:
Getting Help for a Loved One; Parenting, Mindfulness + Parenting; Raising Daughters; Raising Sons; and Memoirs.

Task Force Warns of Dangerous Designer Drug

Click Here for the Press Release

Making Progress

The General Assembly also passed legislation this year to expand access to naloxone so that family members and other individuals can possess and use naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose at home or in the community.

The Board of Pharmacy has approved a “Protocol for the Prescribing and Dispensing of Naloxone”


Substance Abuse Groups at Northwestern Community Services
If you are interested in a NWCS group, please contact the call center at (540) 636-4250, ext. 2414 for all the groups and request to have an intake scheduled.  You do not need to know which group will most meet your needs.  That will be discussed during the intake process.  Click below for more information on these substance abuse groups.
New Mother’s Substance Abuse Educational Group
Women’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program
Motivational Enhancement Substance Abuse Group

Families on the Road to Recovery

A support group called Families on the Road to Recovery has recently formed for families of loved ones who are struggling with addiction and for family members who have lost a loved one to addiction.  Meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at Winchester Church of God (2080 N. Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA) behind the church at Dingus Hall in Family Life Center.  Each meeting will include speakers on a variety of topics.  All are welcome.  Click here to learn more about the Families on the Road to Recovery.  There is help.  Join us now!

Click here to like or join the Families on the Road to Recovery Facebook page.

Perspectives from community members impacted by the addiction epidemic.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition held a Community Leadership Action Summit on November 18th in the Winchester Medical Center Conference Center. Local elected officials and community leaders learned more about the scope of the opioid and heroin addiction problem in our community and considered concrete solutions to address it.  Click here to see the information that was presented.

Community Forum on Heroin
View the video release of the Community Forum on Heroin which was held on March 31st in the Stimpson Auditorium at Shenandoah  University. (Mobilizing to Address the Addiction Challenge)

What is addiction? Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain—they change its structure and how it works. Addiction results largely from brain changes that stem from prolonged drug use—changes that involve multiple brain circuits, including those responsible for governing self-control and other behaviors.

Addiction is treatable, often with medications (for some addictions) combined with behavioral therapies. However, relapse is common and can happen even after long periods of abstinence, underscoring the need for long-term support and care. Relapse does not signify treatment failure, but rather should prompt treatment re-engagement or modification. This website is one of a variety of awareness and education initiatives to inform the community about the disease of addiction, promote prevention, and offer helpful resources—locally and beyond.

Heroin Overdose Deaths 2014
Heroin Overdose Deaths 2015
Heroin Overdose Deaths 2016
Heroin Overdose Deaths 2017
Heroin Overdose Deaths 2018

Addiction Recovery Assistance