Northern Lights Against Substance Abuse

Lighting the Way to Prevent Substance Abuse since 2011

Our Mission

The Northern Lights Against Substance Abuse unites community members in Northern Anne Arundel County to reduce alcohol and drug abuse among youth and young adults through collaborative efforts using evidence based strategies.

Our Vision

Youth and young adults in Northern Anne Arundel County are free from alcohol and drug abuse.

Our Goals

  • Decrease underage drinking & Binge Drinking
  • Educate parents, youth, and community members about the negative consequences of underage drinking
  • Support law enforcement
  • Bring prevention awareness through community events

Click here to view our 2016 Community Needs Assessment!

Prevention Strategies

Compliance Checks

A compliance check is a strategy used by Police Officers to catch liquor retail establishments in the act of serving alcohol to underage youth by sending an underage cadet in the establishment to purchase alcohol. Citations are issued immediately to non-compliant establishments.


Goal: Increase compliance checks of the Northern area retail establishments from 10% to 25%.

Outcome: 56 compliance checks – 156/56 (36% were checked)

Police saturation and party patrols

A saturation patrol is a police tactic wherein a large number of officers are concentrated into a small geographic area during a targeted time period.

A party patrol is the targeting of open parties in residential settings that are unlicensed taverns and/or outdoor areas with a history of attracting underage drinkers.


Goal: Raise from zero to four hours per month

Outcome: 25 hours per month-total of 154.5 hours

Police Training
AA County Police Officers are offered training through the National Alcohol Enforcement Training Center in the areas of underage party dispersal, current Alcohol & Marijuana Laws, citation writing pertaining to youth alcohol offenses, adults serving minors, and innovative enforcement techniques.

(TAM) Training
TAM (Techniques in Alcohol Management) provides training to employees of retail establishments on False Identification detection, knowledge on the importance of checking ID’s, and the laws associated with serving a minor.


Goal: Subsidize training for 100 employees of liquor establishments

Outcomes: 38 NLASA area participants

Media Advocacy
Local media outlets are used to distribute important information on current coalition prevention strategies, events, and meetings.

Northern Lights Events

Strengthening Families Program Facilitator Training @ TBD
Aug 16 @ 9:00 am – Aug 17 @ 4:00 pm
Community Health Fair @ St John Lutheran Church
Aug 25 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Maryland International Overdose Awareness Week
Aug 26 @ 6:00 am – Sep 1 @ 7:00 am
Maryland International Overdose Awareness Week

Governor Larry Hogan Declares Overdose Awareness Week in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Reaffirming the administration’s goal of preventing substance abuse and overdose deaths, Governor Larry Hogan today issued a statewide proclamation declaring the week of Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, September 5, to be Overdose Awareness Week in Maryland.

“The toll that addiction and overdose deaths have taken on our communities, state, and region has been devastating,” Governor Hogan said. “Our administration is committed to finding the best and most effective solutions to this crisis, and our Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force is hard at work developing comprehensive strategies to address this problem. I encourage all Marylanders to come together during Overdose Awareness Week, to support all of our families and citizens suffering from addiction and substance abuse.”

In 2014, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) reported 1,039 drug- and alcohol-related overdose deaths in the state. “Overdose Awareness Week highlights the significance of this public health crisis and seeks to create public awareness of the damage addiction and drug abuse inflicts on our families and communities,” Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford said.

Earlier this week, the Heroin & Opioid Emergency Task Force, chaired by the Lt. Governor, released its interim report.

During Overdose Awareness Week, communities will host such events as candlelight vigils, public art installations, and public hearings. The DHMH’s Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) will host a naloxone conference to bring together stakeholders who work on overdose education and naloxone distribution in the state to share information on regulations and tools such as the state’s Overdose Response Program.

Local jurisdictions and DHMH will coordinate additional events throughout the week. For more information about Overdose Awareness Week in Maryland, contact DHMH at 410-402-8590. For more information on the tools Maryland is using to battle our region’s substance abuse epidemic, visit DHMH’s website at

Protect Your Family From the Opioid Crisis @ Edgewater Community Library
Aug 29 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Protect Your Family From the Opioid Crisis @ Edgewater Community Library | Edgewater | Maryland | United States

Protect Your Family From the Opioid Crisis

Join us as we explore ways you can protect your family from an opioid addiction. We will also recommend resources to use if a loved one needs help to overcome their addiction.

Register at

Not My Child Presentation @ Friendship United Methodist Church
Aug 29 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Not My Child Presentation @ Friendship United Methodist Church | Friendship | Maryland | United States

There will be a “Not My Child” program event regarding substance misuse in our community on August 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm at Friendship United Methodist Church – 22 Friendship Rd, Friendship, MD 20758.

Please come out and increase your awareness of this fatal epidemic – it affects all communities.

Are you concerned that your child might be experiencing with drugs or addicted to drugs? Do you want to be prepared to teach your younger children never to start using? Are you looking for help with treatment?

“Not My Child” is a special presentation to remove the stigma of heroin addiction and get help for families caught in the web of drugs. This presentation will include a panel of experts, question and answer from the audience and treatment providers ready to provide information and referral.

“Not My Child” is focused on providing awareness by providing the facts of abuse of prescription drugs and the escalation of heroin use in our communities. The Not My Child discussion taking place in our communities provides an open, honest conversation regarding the use of drugs by children and adults in every community, the issue does not discriminate.

“Not My Child” is a collaborative effort supported by multiple county agencies, non-profits and community members working together to educate parents, families and communities on the impact of addiction on the individual, family and community.

The “Not My Child” program is created, supported and facilitated by County Executive’s Office of Constituent Services.

Areas We Serve

Contact Northern Lights

Click Here To Contact Us


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Our Team

Local Evaluator – Christina Grey, MS
MSPF Coordinator -Pam Luby
Coalition Chair – Denise Williams

Northern Lights Against Substance Abuse Coalition is fiscally managed and staffed by Chesapeake Center for Youth Development, a local non-profit organization whose focus is improving the lives of youth.

 Our Members Include

AA County Board of License Commissioners
AA County Community Action Agency
AA County Department of Health
AA County Executive’s Office of Constituent Services
AA County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families

AA County Police Department
AA County Public Schools
Anne Arundel Community College
AA County State’s Attorney’s Office
ADEPT Behavioral Treatment

Baltimore Washington Medical Center
Chesapeake Center for Youth Development
Community Residents
Department of Juvenile Services
Housing Commission of AA County
Light of the World Family Ministries

Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association
Maryland Transportation Safety Office
National Alcohol Enforcement Training Center
Pathways Treatment Facility
The IMPACT Society
Transforming the Community