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SAPCA Members, 


Come out and support the Sticker Shock volunteers! City Council will recognize the youth and adults who participated in Sticker Shock at the Nov 12th City Council meeting at 7pm. The meeting will take place at City Hall, 301 King St.


I hope to see you there!




* Sticker Shock Kick Off a Success (10/19)
* SAPCA Celebrates Substance Abuse Prevention Month
* Prescription Drug Take Back Day a Success in Alexandria (10/26)
* Preventing Risky Behaviors (11/21)
* A Night of Transformation, Fundraising Gala for Friends of Guest House (11/7)
* Alexandria Releases Comprehensive Profile of Children and Youth Well-Being and Drafts First Children and Youth Master Plan
* Regulate E-Cigarettes Less Strictly Than Traditional Cigarettes, Industry Urges FDA
* More People Using E-Cigarettes to Smoke Marijuana
* Teens Who Start Puberty Early More Likely to Experiment with Substance Use
* Teen Filmmaker: My View of Teen Medicine Abuse


Sticker Shock Kick Off a Success (10/19)



SAPCA's Sticker Shock campaign kicked off with a press conference at 720 North Saint Asaph St., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 19.  Speakers included Deputy Cleveland Spruill, Alexandria Police Department and Officer Jim Tuomey, Arlington Police Department. Leia Moran and Nancy Martinez, SAPCA youth members, served as emcees. Leia shared TC Student, Cassie Cowart's story about how her 12-year old cousin was killed when a drunk driver hit the car he was riding in with his family.


During the campaign, teams of youth and adults visited over fifty stores in Alexandria to place "warning" stickers on multi-packs of beer, wine coolers and other alcoholic products, highlighting the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors. They also placed "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" campaign window clings at participating locations reminding parents and other adults that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors at house parties.


Check out the news coverage from Fox 5 on our facebook page!

 SAPCA Celebrates Substance Abuse Prevention Month




Shelly Morgan, SAPCA Vice-Chair, Noraine Buttar, SAPCA Coordinator and Tonia Copeland, SAPCA Board Member presented wreckED and Above the Influence (ATI) workshops at TC Williams during the month of October. wreckED is a program that challenges teens to think more about their own and their friends' behavior regarding alcohol and drugs, and to consider the consequences of using substances. ROTC students at TC Williams participated in ATI's "Be It" activity where they created personal slogans to describe themselves and how they stay above the influence of alcohol and other drugs.   


SAPCA also helped celebrate Red Ribbon Week at Francis Hammond Middle School by providing a one-pager to teachers and administrators that suggests ways to engage their students in conversations about drugs, describes what SAPCA does to prevent substance use and invites teachers to learn more about SAPCA's initiatives.


Prescription Drug Take Back Day a Success in Alexandria (10/26)


SAPCA partnered with the Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff's Office to collect 243 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday October 26, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.


Over 5,000 collections sites nationwide participated in the take back day program this past Saturday and over 3,150 pounds were collected in the Northern Virginia area alone.  In Alexandria, residents dropped off unused prescription medications at three drop sites in the City: Police Headquarters, the Del Ray Pharmacy and the parking lot of the First Baptist Church. The service was free and anonymous.


Last spring, the two Alexandria law enforcement agencies collected over 196 pounds of prescription drugs for destruction in the third ever take back initiative.



Preventing Risky Behaviors Presentation (11/21)

 SAPCA, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy and the Gang Prevention and Intervention Task Force will present, 'It's Never Too Late Early and Never Too Late to Talk to Your Kids" on Thursday, Nov 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Community Lodgings, 607 Notabene Drive.


Contact Noraine at if you would like to attend.




Founded in 1974, Friends of Guest House is a charity that helps Northern Virginian women make successful transitions from incarceration back into the community. On November 7, at 6 p.m., they will host their annual fundraising gala, and ask that you join them. Auctions and live musical entertainment will be accompanied by local food and wine pairings. Click here to register.


The members of the Alexandria Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission are pleased to announce the release of the Alexandria Children & Youth Well-Being Profile, the draft Children and Youth Master Plan and Plan Overview.     


Alexandria encourages all residents to get involved in addressing the issues raised by the Youth Profile and the priorities, goals and action strategies proposed in the draft Children and Youth Master Plan. Members of the community can comment on the draft Plan at the Comment Board, and attend one of the following community meetings where the Profile and Plan will be presented and input will be gathered. 

  • Thursday, November 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. - William Ramsay Elementary School, 5700 Sanger Avenue 
  • Saturday, November 9, 10 a.m. - noon  - Minnie Howard Campus of T. C. Williams, 3801 W. Braddock Road 
  • Thursday, November 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. - Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe Street 

See the flyer for the community forums, visit for more information or contact Ron Frazier, Office of Youth Services Director, Department of Community & Human Services at 703.746.5970 or



Makers of e-cigarettes are lobbying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate their products less strictly than traditional cigarettes, The Washington Post reports. The agency said it will start regulating the e-cigarette industry later this month.


The FDA has authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco, but not e-cigarettes, pipe tobacco or cigars. Under a 2009 law, the FDA can expand its authority over all tobacco products, but it must first issue new regulations. The agency could restrict how e-cigarettes are marketed, where they are sold and who can purchase them.

The makers of Marlboro, Newport and Camel cigarettes have entered the e-cigarette market, which is projected to approach $2 billion this year, the article notes. The companies hope to avoid the type of heavy regulation currently governing the traditional cigarette market.


Last month, the attorneys general of 41 states asked the FDA to issue regulations for e-cigarettes by the end of October. They said they want to ensure e-cigarette companies do not continue to sell or advertise to minors.

A growing number of people are smoking marijuana out of e-cigarettes, NBC New York reports. Marijuana in liquid and wax forms used in e-cigarettes and vapor pens does not create an odor. Because the devices don't produce a flame, a person smoking marijuana in an e-cigarette can take a puff and then quickly put it in a pocket.


Local law enforcement officials and drug counselors are concerned about the trend, particularly in minors. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a survey that showed use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schools students doubled from 2011 to 2012. The CDC found 10 percent of high school students had tried an e-cigarette last year, compared with 5 percent the previous year. According to the survey, 1.8 million middle and high school students said they tried e-cigarettes last year.


Detective Lt. Kevin Smith, who heads the Narcotics Unit for the Nassau County Police Department in New York, said an officer arresting someone on a drug charge who has an e-cigarette is now directed to test the device for illegal drugs.


A new survey of teens finds those who start puberty early are more likely to try cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, compared with those who begin on time or late. The survey of almost 6,500 boys and girls ages 11 to 17 included questions about substance use in the last three months and the age when they began puberty, HealthDay reports.


"While puberty is often thought of as a solely biological process, our research has shown that pubertal development is a combination of biological, psychological and social processes that all likely interact to influence risk-taking behavior like substance use," study author Jessica Duncan Cance of the University of Texas at Austin said in a university news release. "Our study suggests that being the first girl in the class to need a bra, for example, prompts or exacerbates existing psychological and social aspects that can, in turn, lead to substance use and other risky behaviors early in life," she said.


With his new documentary, "Out of Reach," filmmaker Cyrus Stowe, a senior at a Dallas high school, set out to uncover the growing problem of friends sharing and abusing prescription medications in his hometown.


Cyrus Stowe's view:


The subject of my film, "Out of Reach," was teen abuse of prescription medicine, and drawing on my own, very personal connection to the issue, it took me on a life-changing adventure. Co-produced with a great mentor, Tucker Capps of A&E's "Intervention," it premiered last week in New York City at the Genart Film Festival.


From my first treatment to the final cut, I wanted to raise awareness about just how many teens are abusing medicine. However, it wasn't until I started talking to my friends and making this film that I understood the true scope of the problem, which is pretty scary.


This film isn't a blueprint of how teens can abuse medicine, but a mirror to what is happening in cities all across America. Pull back on your internet map and you will likely find the same stories in cities and towns everywhere. You can change the names and the reasons why they use, whether it's boredom or peer pressure or the desire to achieve or overachieve, but it's there.


I'm grateful that my film can open eyes and prompt action, and that can start with talking with your kids about medicine abuse, and safeguarding your medicine. It's as simple as going into your bathroom, opening up your medicine cabinet and understanding the orange bottles in front of you are easy targets for abuse. Keep them safe and out of reach.



Noraine Buttar, MPH
720 North Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.3670 (office)
703.887.8812 (mobile)