Sandstone Care opened up a new Reston branch to the public on July 20. The drug and alcohol rehabilitation center has locations in the DMV area, as well as in Colorado.
Since the onset of COVID-19, there has been a notable increase in overdoses and suicide deaths, according to Marcello LaRocca, the founder of Sandstone Care. With the enforcement of staying at home and social distancing, it’s not surprising that people are feeling disconnected.
“The pandemic is bringing about isolation in pretty significant ways,” said LaRocca. “It’s definitely fueling a mental health surge, unfortunately.”
The community-based outpatient program specializes in serving teens and young adults. A big issue the age group is currently facing is uncertainty regarding the fall, specifically whether or not they will be going back to school.
Sandstone Care is aiming to support people through virtual services and assessments, while also keeping an in-person option for people when possible.
“A lot of families, four months into the pandemic, have screen fatigue. Not having that connection can be a real challenge,” said LaRocca.
The facility is taking many measures to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their day treatment programs, they are enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing and giving temperature screenings. There will be increased sanitation, and only essential personnel are allowed in the office.
The reception from the public has been very positive. Virginia is a pretty underserved area, especially with resources for teens, according to LaRocca, so there has been a lot of support around their establishment.
“I think there’s a lot of excitement and support from the other community mental health centers and hospitals,” said LaRocca. “It’s hard to be a human being right now.”
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
Photo via the Sandstone Care/Facebook
Local nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) and ridesharing app Lyft are again partnering to offer free rides during the holiday season.
As part of an effort to combat drunk driving, WRAP will be sponsoring free Lyft rides starting next Friday (Dec. 20).
From 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., rides up to $15 are free with the use of a promo code. The user is responsible for any costs over $15. The offer will continue until Jan. 1.
Weekly codes will be posted on the Sober Rides website at noon on Dec. 20, 27, and 31. The weekly code is only valid for one ride.
According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, there were 621 alcohol-related crashes in Fairfax in 2017, resulting in 331 injuries and 12 fatalities.
“More than a third of all U.S. traffic fatalities during the holiday season in 2018 involved drunk drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” WRAP’s President Kurt Gregory Erickson said in the press release.
As the program is aimed at preventing alcohol related crashes, Lyft riders must be at least 21 years old to claim the offer. The code is valid for any rides inside the D.C. coverage area, which includes all of Fairfax County.
The SoberRide program operates during the December/January holiday season, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day and Halloween.
Image via Washington Regional Alcohol Program
Two juveniles — one of whom was armed with a gun — took the bicycles of two other juveniles in Reston last week.
The victims were walking near the intersection of North Shoer Drive and Wainwright Drive at around 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 15 when two other juveniles demanded their bicycles at gunpoint.
Police believe the suspects are boys. One was wearing a blue shirt and black shorts and the other was wearing a white shirt with black dots.
The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station also reported the following minor incidents in recent days:
6300 block of Alderman Drive, wallet from location
1700 block of Clubhouse Road, property from business
13300 block of Fones Place, backpack from vehicle
2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, cell phone from location
2500 block of John Milton Drive, liquor from business
2100 block of Whisperwood Glen Lane, wallet from location
1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, bag from location
In a separate incident, a Reston woman was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to provide a breath test on August 17.
Alexandra Gilmore, 33, was arrested on near Hogback Mountain Drive, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Photo via FCPD
Local sheriff’s deputies were called to Ashburn on Sunday around 2 a.m. for a report about two unconscious women in the back of a car.
Rescue personnel treated the women, including Skylar Dowdy, 18, of Herndon. Dowdy and another man in the car, El H. Birame-Se, 21, of Leesburg, were arrested and charged with public intoxication, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
A third female involved in the incident, Summer Mirzian, 18, of Ashburn, was released on a summons for public intoxication and remained at the hospital for further treatment. The incident happened on the 43000 block of Burstall Court in Ashburn.
The Fairfax County Police Department reported the following incidents in recent days:
11600 block of Plaza America Drive, merchandise from business
2700 block of Robaleed Way, property from vehicle
11900 block of Winterhur Lane, keys from residence
11700 block of Summer Chase Circle, 2000 Nissan Altima
In a separate incident, a Herndon resident was arrested on August 24 and charged with public intoxication. Local sheriff’s deputies saw Karol Rodriquez-Coto, 24, sitting on the side of Saulty Drive in Sterling at around 3:40 a.m. prior to the arrest.
The Herndon Police Department had no major crime incidents to report this week.
Shooting on Sunday in Ashburn — A Reston man was shot at early Sunday at a home on the 43500 block of Dunhill Court, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. [Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office]
Population density debate fires up — The Coalition for a Planned Reston will meet tonight to discuss a proposal by the county to increase the community’s population density. [Coalition for a Planned Reston]
Bookmark this, book lovers — Friends of the Reston Regional Library will host its semi-annual book sale from Thursday through Sunday. [Friends of the Reston Regional Library]
Alcohol enforcement update — Officers from the Reston Neighborhood Patrol Unit conducted business compliance checks late last week at 11 businesses. 10 passed. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Photo by Sarah Mccue
What’s the buzz — Expect your cell phone to buzz loudly today between 10 and 11 a.m.. The county is participating in a wireless emergency alerts test. [Fairfax County Government]
An eye for that — The Eyewear Gallery in Reston Town Center recently completed renovations. [The Eyewear Gallery]
Celebrating two years — Reston’s first and only craft brewery, Lake Anne Brew House, is hosting a second anniversary on April 14. [Lake Anne Brew House]
Awareness about alcoholism — In honor of National Alcohol Screening Day, the county is offering a free, confidential online screening, which includes referral information on how to get help. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via Savannah Bassett
Total Wine & More is eying open day at Plaza America.
Hiring has begun for all positions at the beer, wine and spirit purveyor, which will be located on 11620 Plaza America Drive.
Although hiring is in full-swing, a corporate office representative declined to indicate when the store will open. It was expected to open by the end of last year, according to the Washington Business Journal.
“At this time, the exact dates and locales have not been finalized,” the representative wrote in a statement.
The store will replace Staples, which closed in October after opening in 2011.
According to the Total Wine & More website:
Our typical store carries more than 8,000 different wines from every wine-producing region in the world, including more than 2,000 wines not available in any other store. The typical Total Wine & More also carries more than 2,500 beers, from America’s most popular brands to hard-to-find microbrews and imports, and more than 3,000 different spirits in every style and price range.
Total Wine & More is also located in Sterling, Fairfax and McLean.
Photos by Fatimah Waseem
Inova Blood Drive Set for Tuesday — Locals can donate their blood at Reston Town Center beside the pavilion from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday. On-site registration is available. Appointments can also be scheduled by calling 1-866-256-6372 or www.inova.org/donateblood. [Reston Community Center]
Service Offered to Get a Free Ride Home — The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is offering free rides home through the SoberRide program for people who have consumed alcohol and do not wish to drive. The program will be offered nightly between 8 p.m. and 4 p.m. through Jan. 1. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Schedule Released — Reston Community Center has released the weekend schedule for this year’s 33nd annual birthday celebration. The program includes special performances, community service projects, and a voices of inspiration program sponsored by the Reston Martin Luther King, Jr. Church. [Reston Community Center]
Sabino Vasquez-Murcia, a 29-year-old Herndon resident, was killed on Saturday when a car struck a parked vehicle he was sitting in on Saturday night. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office identified him as the victim of the crash today.
The driver, Julio Rivera, 39-year-old Herndon resident, lost control of his car and hit the parked car and a townhouse on the 700 block of Colonial Avenue in Sterling, the sheriff’s office said. The crash happened around 10:45 p.m.
Vasquez-Murcia was taken to Reston Hospital where he later passed away. The townhouse sustained minor damages and no one was injured inside, according to the report.
Rivera has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, DUI and driving on a suspended license. He is currently being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on no bond, the sheriff’s office said.
According to police spokeswoman, the checkpoint will take place from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Police did not give advance notice of the exact checkpoint location.
FCPD regularly holds checkpoints in various parts of the county in order to monitor for intoxicated drivers.
Officers from the Reston District Station will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint this Friday. Don't drink and drive! pic.twitter.com/xkkzm5FSRJ
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) November 7, 2017
The 56-mile Reston District covers Reston, Great Falls, and parts of Vienna, Oak Hill and Herndon.
Along with publicity and awareness, checkpoints have proven to be effective in the fight against drunk driving, police say.
Image courtesy of FCPD