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SAPCA Members, 
Join SAPCA on Wednesday March 20 for a Kick Butt's Day  event at T.C. Williams at 3:30 p.m. Above the Influence Club President, Emma West and other members will kick-off the campaign. SAPCA will work with the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and other community partners to support youth to carry out surveys on alcohol tobacco advertising in local stores.




* Risky Behavior Presentation
* Alexandria Only Community in Virginia to Participate in NIDA's Drug Facts Chat Day
* SAPCA Quarterly Meeting To Be Rescheduled
* Health and Safety Day (3/21)
* Recruitment for 2014-15 AVID Program (January - March)
* Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) Presents "Ella! First Lady of Song" (3/9)
* Art Uniting People (5/7)
* Growing Number of Localities Oppose Legal Marijuana
* Surge in Synthetic Marijuana Emergency Room Visits Reported in Denver
* CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes by Oct 1


Risky Behavior Presentation (1/14)
SAPCA, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, and the Gang Prevention Task Force presented, "It's Never Too Early and Never Too Late to Talk to Your Kids" to over twenty-five parents and other  adults at Jefferson-Houston. Parents learned how to talk to their kids about tough subjects such as drugs, sex, mental health and violence, and specific techniques they could use to monitor their children.


If you would like to host a presentation, contact Noraine at noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov



Alexandria Only Community in Virginia to Participate in NIDA's Drug Facts Chat Day 
SAPCA celebrated the National Institute on Drug Abuse's(NIDA) Drug Facts Chat Day on January 27 with ROTC classes at TC Williams. NIDA's annual Drug Facts Chat Day is an extraordinary event that is a substantial learning opportunity for students.


Each year, top scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse go live online to answer students' questions about drugs and their impact on the teen brain and body. During the chat, students asked some of our nation's experts about illicit drug use as well as abuse of prescription drugs, which is becoming a growing problem among our nation's teens. In return, they received facts, not lectures.


Students also asked a lot of questions about the different types of drugs and their effects on the body and brain. In addition to getting the facts, they learned about great resources such as www.drugabuse.gov, which has important information on alcohol and many other drugs. Check out the chat transcript!





SAPCA Quarterly Meeting (3/6) - To Be Rescheduled

SAPCA's quarterly meeting will be rescheduled. A new date will be announced soon.




SAPCA will co-sponsor a Health and Safety Day with the Alliance of Consumer Education and the Boys & Girls Club of Alexandria. The event will consist of activities for youth ages five through 18. It will take place on Friday, March 21 from 4:30 p.m. through 8 p.m. Batman will attend in his Batmobile!


Stay tuned for details on how to RSVP.




Based on the Alexandria City School Board's approval of the 2014-15 Program of Studies, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) will expand to include sixth-grade students at both middle school campuses. A college readiness program, AVID is designed to support students who may be the first in their families to attend college, are historically underrepresented at four-year colleges, possess 2.0-3.5 grade point averages, are deemed in the "academic middle", and truly are determined to go to college.


Among the benefits are visits to as many as 10-12 colleges during their middle and high school years. In addition, the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria will give away a scholarship designated specifically for an AVID senior. For more information on how a student can apply for AVID, contact the AVID Site Coordinator at each campus: Erica Daniels, Stephanie Smith and Rhea Butler.



Parent Leadership Training Institute (PTLI) Presents "Ella! First Lady of Song" (3/9)


PTLI is hosting the world premiere of "Ella! First Lady of Song" starring Freda Payne. The 5 p.m. event will take place at MetroStage (1201 North Royal Street) and includes a dinner buffet and silent auction prior to the show. For eight years PLTI of Alexandria has offered a free 20-week course on leadership and civics that empowers parents to be advocates for their children. Purchasing a ticket will support the continuation of this critical initiative.


Art Uniting People Exhibition (5/7)


The opening reception for the fourth annual "Art Uniting People" exhibition will be 5-8 p.m. at Convergence (1801 N. Quaker Lane). A second reception will be held in October at the Beatley Library. The exhibition is open to all artists whose lives have been affected by mental illness, addiction or intellectual disabilities. The deadline for artwork and entry forms is April 11. Email hopeinalexandria@gmail.com for additional information.



While momentum to legalize marijuana at the state level is growing, a number of towns and counties are moving to ban legal sales of the drug, The New York Times reports.


In Colorado and Washington state, where recreational marijuana is now legal for adults 21 and older, localities' decision to ban marijuana sales could sharply reduce tax revenues, the newspaper notes. Supporters of legalization have promised marijuana sales could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues.

If many towns and counties ban marijuana sales, legal marijuana could end up being sold in a patchwork system, with most sales occurring in urban areas.


"In some ways I think the best thing that could have happened to the anti-legalization movement was legalization, because I think it shows people the ugly side," said Kevin A. Sabet, a former drug policy adviser to President Obama and the Executive Director and co-founder of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. The group supports removing criminal penalties for using marijuana.


Yakima County, Washington plans to outlaw marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas outside Yakima city. Clark County, Washington is considering banning recreational sales, while Pierce County, just south of Seattle, has said it will ban recreational marijuana businesses from opening. In Colorado, dozens of local governments have banned marijuana commerce, including Colorado Springs, the state's second-largest city.


In California, where medical marijuana is legal, a state appeals court ruled last year that local governments could ban the growing of medical marijuana. Fresno County became the first county in the state to do so. In Oregon, legislators are considering a measure that would permit municipalities to restrict or ban medical marijuana.


Emergency rooms in Denver, Colorado reported a surge in visits related to synthetic marijuana in the late summer and early fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. Experts say similar patterns may emerge in other parts of the country.


In a letter in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Andrew A. Monte of the University of Colorado School of Medicine writes synthetic marijuana appears to be growing more potent. "Although the effects of exposures to first-generation synthetic cannabinoids are largely benign, newer products have been associated with seizures, ischemic stroke and cardiac toxicity, possibly due to potency," he wrote.


Synthetic marijuana is sold under names including K2, Spice and Black Mamba. It is made with dried herbs and spices that are sprayed with chemicals that induce a marijuana-type high when smoked, the article notes. The products are widely available, despite laws prohibiting them.


Short-term effects of using synthetic marijuana include loss of control, lack of pain response, increased agitation, pale skin, seizures, vomiting, profuse sweating, uncontrolled/spastic body movements, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and palpitations.



CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes By Oct. 1

CVS, one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, said Wednesday that it will stop selling cigarettes at its 7,600 locations in an expensive but calculated bid to boost its image as a full-fledged health-care provider rather than a simple purveyor of greeting cards and shampoo.


Executives said the move will cost the company $2 billion a year in lost sales. But they are gambling that abandoning smokers will help them strike more profitable deals with hospitals and health insurers - and appeal to growing ranks of customers newly insured under the Affordable Care Act.


Industry analysts and public health advocates called it a watershed decision that could pressure other major pharmacies to follow suit. President Obama - a former smoker - praised the chain's decision in a statement Wednesday, saying the change "sets a powerful example" that will "help advance my administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs - ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come."



Noraine Buttar, MPH
421 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.3670 (office)
703.887.8812 (mobile)