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SAPCA Members, 
We are partnering with the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy to host, "Titan Takeover" on Friday, May 16, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m at William Ramsay Recreation Center. This will be a fun night for teens, planned by their peers from the Above the Influence and Keep it 360 clubs at T.C. Williams. Please spread the word to the teens in your life.
If you would like to volunteer to support the youth at this event, please contact me at noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov.




* TC Youth Celebrate Kick Butts Day (3/19)
* Batman Helps Celebrate Health & Safety Day in Alexandria (3/21)
*Nancy Martinez Wins Youth Service Award at Salute to Womens Awards (3/31)
* SAPCA Annual Retreat (5/21)
* Titan Takeover at Ramsay Recreation Center Lounge (5/17)
* SAMHSA-Sponsored In-Service Workshops
* Art Uniting People (5/7)
* ACAP Quarterly Meeting (5/8)
* Even Casually Smoking Marijuana Can Change Your Brain, Study Says
*Four Loko Makers Agree to Limits on Marketing to Young People
* Vaporizers Gain Popularity Among Marijuana Smokers


TC Youth Celebrate Kick Butts Day (3/19)



On Kick Butts Day, March 19, over 30 Alexandria youth, supported by adults, celebrated by conducting Operation Storefront, where they filled out surveys on the amount of tobacco advertising in over 60 local stores. Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that engages youth in a variety of activities designed to raise awareness about the problems of tobacco use in the schools and in the community.


Mayor Bill Euille kicked off the campaign by telling the students how explicitly they are targeted by tobacco companies. Then,  Chief of Police, Earl Cook talked about how his father's life long smoking addiction led to an early death. Above the Influence Club Members and TC Seniors, Emma West and Yahya Yaziji hosted the kickoff.


The Kick Butts Day activities were sponsored by SAPCA, Building Better Futures, and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.


Check out the press coverage in the Alexandria Gazette.


Batman Helps Celebrate Health & Safety Day in Alexandria (3/21)
Over 130 Alexandria youth and parents attended the "Be a Superhero in Your Home Health and Safety Fair" at the Boys and Girls Club. This event educated Alexandria families on healthy habits and ways to be your own "Superhero in the Home" by making safe, healthy decisions.
Youth rotated through nine stations that allowed them to meet Batman, learn about the National Safe Place initiative, hear about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs and early sexual behavior, how to say healthy using the 95210 program, poison prevention, disease prevention and the importance of recycling.

Check out the pictures from the event!


Nancy Martinez Wins Youth Service Award at Salute to Women Awards (3/31)

Nancy Martinez, SAPCA Youth Board Member, won the Youth Services Salute to Women Award. All awardees were selected by an independent committee appointed by the Commission for Women, "for their accomplishments in civic life and for the improvements they have brought about to the well-being of Alexandria women and girls."


Nancy has served on our board for the past four years. She is essential to the creation and implementation of the board's annual plans, strategies and initiatives to prevent substance abuse by Alexandria youth. Annually, she serves as an emcee for Project Sticker Shock, where teams of teens and adults go to alcohol retailers to label alcohol with "STOP" stickers to remind adults that purchasing alcohol for minors is illegal. She also serves as a facilitator for the Kids are Terrific (KAT) Camp, where she teaches children about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. 


As a counselor aide at Charles Houston Recreation Center, Martinez tutors and mentors younger children. She is president of the Latina Youth for Excellence Club at T.C. Williams, and also serves as both a linguistic and cultural interpreter for her family, friends and organizations seeking to reach Spanish speakers.




SAPCA Annual Retreat (5/21)

Wednesday, May 21, 6 - 9:00 p.m. at Charles Houston Recreation Center, 905 Wythe St.


RSVP to noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov






This event will take place at the William Ramsay Recreation Center, 5650 Sanger Ave, from 7 p.m, to 10 p.m.


Teens can RSVP by texting "titan" to #30644. Standard text message rates apply. 




SAMHSA-Sponsored In-Service Workshops


SAMHSA-Sponsored In-Service Workshops

  • As SAMHSA's National Prevention Week approaches, an in-service workshop on Wednesday, May 15, 2014 entitled  Peer Crowds: A New Approach to Reaching Youth and Communities with Behavioral Health Issues will challenge the way you think about audiences and targeting behavioral health messages - for programs addressing substance use such as tobacco use or underage drinking, mental health promotion initiatives, or suicide prevention programs for youth and young adults. Jeff Jordan, President and Executive Creative Director of Rescue Social Change Group, will present findings from over 100 studies with teens, young adults, adults and LGBT and other special populations to show how a single risk behavior has a different role and meaning in different "peer crowds" of people.
  • On Thursday, May 22, 2014, Marcia Lee Taylor, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at The Partnership at Drugfree.org, will present on The Medicine Abuse Project. She will highlight free resources to help community prevention efforts, including multimedia community education programs, PSAs, digital tools, and social media resources.




The opening reception for the fourth annual "Art Uniting People" exhibition will be on May 7 from 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. Email hopeinalexandria@gmail.com for additional information.


ACAP Quarterly Meeting (5/8)


The Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy will have a quarterly meeting on Thursday, May 8 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., location TBD.
Contact Lisette Torres at lisette.torres@alexandriava.gov if you would like to attend.




A study in The Journal of Neuroscience says even casual marijuana smokers showed significant abnormalities in two vital brain regions important in motivation and emotion.

"Some of these people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week," said co-author Hans Breiter, quoted in Northwestern University's Science Newsline. Breiter hailed the study as the first to analyze the effects of light marijuana use. "People think a little recreational use shouldn't cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school," he said. "Our data directly says this is not the case."


"This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn't associated with bad consequences," he added.

The study analyzed 20 pot smokers and 20 non-pot smokers between 18 and 25. Scientists asked them to estimate how much marijuana they smoked and how often they lit up over a three-month test period. Even those who smoked once a week showed brain abnormalities, while larger changes were seen in those who smoked more.



The maker of the flavored malt beverage Four Loko agreed this week to sharply limit its marketing to young people, Reuters reports. The company is making changes to its marketing in response to allegations by 19 U.S. state attorneys general and the city of San Francisco that it improperly marketed its product to young people and encouraged them to abuse alcohol.


The company, Phusion Projects LLC, will not promote binge drinking or other misuses of alcohol, and will accept limits on marketing that are designed to prevent people under 21 from purchasing alcoholic products. Phusion said it will not promote its products on school or college property, except at licensed retailers. The company will not use models or actors under 25, or who appear to be under 21, in its ads. Phusion will also pay $400,000 to the regulators, the article notes.


Last year, Phusion agreed to put an "alcohol facts panel" on the back of cans containing more than two servings of alcohol, to settle the Federal Trade Commission's charges of deceptive marketing. The panels disclose the alcohol by volume, and the number of servings in the can. Phusion also agreed to redesign cans with more than two-and-a-half servings of alcohol so they can be resealed. This design will encourage drinkers not to consume the entire can in one sitting.



A growing number of marijuana smokers are choosing to use vaporizers, which are similar to e-cigarettes, according to USA Today. The popularity of the devices is changing the way marijuana is packaged and sold in states where it is legal.


The vaporizers, known as "vape pens," are compact and portable. Steve DeAngelo, a marijuana entrepreneur and activist who founded the Harborside Health Center medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, California, says his dispensary does about half of its business in raw marijuana leaf or flowers. The rest are sold as edibles or concentrates, some of which are prepackaged for use in vape pens.


"This really portends the next generation of marijuana use," John Lovell, a Sacramento attorney and lobbyist for the California Narcotics Officers' Association and California Police Chiefs Association, told the newspaper. His group is concerned about the high-strength concentrates used in vape pens. Concentrates can be composed of as much as 80 percent or 90 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.


Others are concerned that vape pens allow teens to smoke marijuana without being detected, because the pens leave no odor.



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