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SAPCA Members, 


Have you thought about serving on SAPCA's Board? Now's your chance!  


SAPCA is searching for people who are interested in serving on the board. The board is responsible for policy, oversight, and financial stewardship of the coalition. Board members are parents, youth, and community members who are dedicated to SAPCA's mission to reduce substance use and abuse among youth in our community.  Your time commitment would be approximately 2-4 hours a month.  Board meetings take place once a month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at a mutually agreed upon date and SAPCA member meetings are held each quarter.  For more information about the board, please review Article V of the bylaws.


If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact Teresa Tidwell at or Noraine at by Friday, November 9.





* SAPCA Celebrates Above the Influence Day with TC Youth
* Sticker Shock Kick Off a Success (10/27)
* SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings
* America's Promise - 100 Best Communities Reception (11/14)
* What's Next Alexandria (11/15)
* ACAP Retreat (11/19)
* Marijuana: Science and Strategies for Community Coalitions (11/15)
* African American Youth See Higher Levels of Alcohol Advertising, Study Finds
* U.S. Government Asks Court to Rehear Challenge to FDA's Graphic Cigarette Labels
* Teens, Young Adults Driving Prescription Drug Abuse Increase, Study Finds
* Alcohol's Effects on Brain Can Begin to Subside Soon After Person Stops Drinking


SAPCA Celebrates Above the Influence Day with TC Youth  


 Above the Influence Activity at TC

SAPCA celebrated Substance Abuse Prevention Month and Above the Influence (ATI) Day with students in TC Williams ROTC classes on October 16 and 23. Youth participated in ATI's "Be It" Activity, where they came up with slogans to describe themselves and how they stay above the influence of alcohol and other drugs. 

Sticker Shock Kick Off A Success (10/27)


Sticker Shock Youth in Action
Sibghat Saeed places a "STOP" window cling at a local store


SAPCA's Sticker Shock campaign kicked off with a press conference at 720 North Saint Asaph St., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 27.  Speakers included William D. Euille, Alexandria Mayor; Captain Tammy Hooper, Alexandria Police Department; and Debbie Sauseville, who lost her daughter to drunk driving. Diamond Harris and Nancy Martinez, SAPCA youth members, served as emcees. 


During the campaign, teams of youth and adults visited sixty  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. 


SAPCA'S Upcoming Meetings

Board Meeting  


Tuesday, November 13, 6-7 p.m., Francis Hammond Middle School Library, 4646 Seminary Rd.

Quarterly Meeting  


Tuesday, November 13, 7 - 8:30 p.m., Francis Hammond Middle School Library, 4646 Seminary Rd.



All are invited to a reception to celebrate the City of Alexandria's recognition as one of the America's Promise - 100 Best Communities for Young People and to kick off the City's Youth Master Planning Process. The reception will take place on Wednesday, November 14 at 6pm at City Hall in the Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King St. Contact the Department of Community and Human Services, Office of Youth Services at 703.746.5970 by November 12 to RSVP. SAPCA's Community YouthMapping project was included in the application, and helped Alexandria win this honor.


SAPCA will be at the reception!


"What's Next, Alexandria?" is a City initiative to begin a conversation about how Alexandrians can best participate in shaping Alexandria's future. In this process, everyone will work together to reach agreement on the principles that will guide civic engagement and planning in Alexandria. 


Building on the input provided in a community poll, the next step is a Community Dialogue on Thursday, November 15, 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Activity Center, 2932 King Street. That night, in addition to working with your fellow Alexandrians, you will hear from a dynamic speaker, Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, founder and former President of America Speaks.

ACAP Retreat (11/19) 


 The Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy will hold a  retreat to reenergize members and support their efforts to prevent teen pregnancy and to empower Alexandria's youth to live healthy lives. The retreat will take place on Monday, November 19, 5 to 8 p.m. at 4480 King St. in the 5th floor conference room. SAPCA partners closely with ACAP to prevent risky behaviors that lead teens to make unhealthy choices.


RSVP to by Friday, November 16 if you want to attend. Dinner will be provided


Marijuana: Science and Strategies for Community Coalitions (11/15)


The webinar, which will take place Nov. 15 from 3-4:30 p.m. EST, will feature Dr. Susan Weiss, Acting Director of the Office of Science Policy and Communications at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Weiss will discuss new research recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which provides objective evidence that marijuana is harmful to the developing brain.
Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., Director of the Institute on Drug Policy (IDP) at the University of Florida, Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry will join Dr. Weiss. Dr. Sabet will clearly define the differences between medical marijuana, decriminalization and legalization and describe their impact on communities.

Sue Thau, CADCA Public Policy Consultant, will conclude the conversation with a discussion of the basic arguments for why community coalitions should care about marijuana use and strategies coalitions can use to respond. Ms. Thau will discuss how to formulate messages and engage the community in responding to the marijuana issue.
Click here to register. 


African American Youth See Higher Levels of Alcohol Advertising, Study Finds   


Africans-American youth are exposed to higher levels of alcohol advertising than children and teens of other racial groups, according to a new study.


Researchers from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore analyzed exposure to alcohol ads in magazines, radio and television among African-American youth in comparison to all youth. They were motivated by study findings that 65 percent of all African-American high school students had at least one sip of alcohol, and that 25 percent of them have consumed their first alcoholic beverage before age 13.


According to a CAMY news release, alcohol is the most widely used drug among African-American youth. "At least 14 studies have found that the more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing, the more likely they are to drink, or if they are already drinking, to drink more," the researchers noted.


The report found African-American youth saw 32 percent more alcohol advertising than all youth in national magazines during 2008. They were exposed to 17 percent more advertising per capita than all youth in 2009, including 20 percent more exposure to distilled spirits advertising.

U.S. Government Asks Court to Rehear Challenge to FDA's Graphic Cigarette Labels 


The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to rehear a case about the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) requirement that tobacco companies place graphic labels on cigarette packages to warn about smoking's health dangers. In August, a three-judge appeals court panel affirmed a lower court ruling that blocked the mandate. The Justice Department is asking the full appeals court to rehear the case, USA Today reports. 


The labels include graphic images of the consequences of smoking, including diseased lungs and rotting teeth. The FDA wants the disturbing pictures to cover at least half of the front and back of a cigarette package. The FDA also said the images must take up to at least 20 percent of each cigarette ad. The Justice Department argues that the new warnings are "indisputably accurate" and the labels' format is designed to reach a "market in which the vast majority of users become addicted to a lethal product before age 18."

Teens, Young Adults Driving Prescription Drug Abuse Increase, Study Finds 


Teenagers and young adults are abusing prescription painkillers at a rate 40 percent higher than what would be expected for their age group, a new study finds. The findings reinforce concerns by law enforcement and medical experts that the wide availability of painkillers is dangerous for adolescents, according to The Denver Post.


Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver evaluated data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and found Americans ages 15 to 27 are driving the prescription drug abuse epidemic, the article notes. The study notes that the total number of hydrocodone and oxycodone products prescribed legally in the U.S. increased more than fourfold, from about 40 million in 1991, to nearly 180 million in 2007. This increase in painkiller availability makes it easier for teens to start using the drugs than in the past, because more homes have prescription painkillers in their medicine cabinets, the researchers said.

Alcohol's Effects on Brain Can Begin to Subside Soon After Person Stops Drinking 


Alcohol's damaging effect on the brain can begin to subside two weeks after a person stops drinking, a new study suggests. Recovery may vary among different areas of the brain, the researchers say. The findings could offer promising news for recovering alcoholics, according to HealthDay.


The study included 49 alcoholics in an inpatient treatment program, who were compared with 55 people who did not abuse alcohol. Participants underwent a brain scan within 24 hours of detoxification, and again two weeks later. The researchers found two weeks after detoxification, drinkers had a rapid recovery of the brain from alcohol-induced volume loss-a shrinkage of brain matter and an accompanying increase of cerebrospinal fluid, which acts as a cushion for the brain.


The study found some parts of the brain were able to recover from chronic alcohol abuse faster than others. The cerebellum, which controls motor coordination and motor skills, recovered quickly. Areas that control higher cognitive functions such as divided attention took a longer time to recover.


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