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SAPCA Members,  



* Deputy Valarie Wright, SAPCA Board Member, Wins Salute to Women's Award
* Alcohol Awarenss Month Activities at Minnie Howard and T.C. Main Campus
* Above the Influence and KeepIt360 Clubs Host Public Speaking Workshop at T.C.
* ATI Club Wins $1,000 First Prize for WRAP's Geico Student Awards
* Titan Takeover Teen Night (5/22)
* Help Get the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Passed
* ACAP Leadership Council Elections Meeting (6/9)
* Colorado Tries to Prevent People from Overdosing on Marijuana Edibles
* Levels of Chemicals in Some E-Cigarette Flavors Surpass Recommended Limits
* When the Prescription Becomes the Problem" Social Media Campaign Targets Overdoses


Deputy Valarie Wright, SAPCA Board Member, Wins Salute to Women's Award (3/26)


Credit photo to Sheriff's Office Communications.
The Alexandria Commission for Women honored Deputy Valarie Wright, a SAPCA Board member, with the Women's Health and Safety Advocate Award at the 35th Annual Salute to Women Awards on Thursday, March 26. Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg presented Deputy Wright with the award during an evening ceremony at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Deputy Wright first joined the Alexandria Sheriff's Office in 1999 after serving in the U.S. Navy. For the past three years, she has served as the Community Relations Deputy where she provides important outreach and safety services to the public. In addition, Deputy Wright mentors a girl at Charles Barrett Elementary, tutors a girl in reading at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, assists the Alexandria Police Department with child ID kits and teaches defensive tactics to students.


Alcohol Awareness Month Activities at Minnie Howard and T.C. Main Campus


Prize winners at T.C. Williams


SAPCA celebrated Alcohol Awareness Month in April with fun lunch time activities at Minnie Howard and T.C. Williams. ATI Club members and SAPCA volunteers tested students' knowledge about the harms of alcohol and the science of the brain. Students were rewarded with fun prizes for correct answers.


Above the Influence and KeepIt360 Clubs Host Public Speaking Workshop at TC



The Above the Influence and KeepIt360 Clubs hosted a Public Speaking Workshop on April 14, led by Michael Smith. Mr. Smith taught a  workshop on the same topic during the summer Youth Leadership Conference last year. He built upon the summer workshop and provided tools for developing and giving effective presentations to diverse audiences. Mr. Smith also worked one on one with the teens to help them prepare for upcoming speeches and offered to provide individual coaching.

ATI Club Wins $1,000 First Prize for WRAP's Geico Student Awards


ATI Club President, Andrea Melara (center) receives award from WRAP President, Kurt Erickson and Geico Representative, Janice Hobart


At a senior class assembly this Friday, the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) bestowed its 2015 GEICO Student Award to SAPCA's teen arm, the T.C. Williams High School's Above the Influence (ATI) club. The GEICO Student Awards are annually presented by WRAP to Washington metropolitan area high school student groups promoting alcohol and drug-free lifestyles to their peers.


The popular awards are judged by a panel of area substance abuse prevention professionals including representatives from local traffic safety organizations and prevention coalitions. Student groups are judged on their leadership, effectiveness, innovation and involvement of both the student body and community in their efforts to prevent underage drinking.


The ATI Club planned and implemented numerous initiatives this year. They led Kick Butts Day, where students provided education to local merchants about the importance of not selling tobacco to minors. They supported Project Sticker Shock, where teams of youth and adults visited over 50 local businesses in Alexandria to place red "STOP" stickers on alcoholic products to highlight the legal penalties for selling alcohol to minors. The ATI Club supported lunch-time activities at Minnie Howard and T.C. Williams during the month of April to promote Alcohol Awareness Month. Club members also presented wrecked to middle school students throughout the school year during Health classes. The Partnership at Drugfree.org's wreckED is a program that challenges teens to think about their own and their friend's behavior regarding alcohol and other drugs.


"According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administrative figures, over a quarter (28%) of all teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2012 had been drinking," said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP's President. "This year's student group winners represent the front line in the fight against underage drinking in Greater Washington and we commend their efforts in this far from won battle."




Titan Takeover Teen Night (5/22)




Help Get the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Passed

From: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids 


Heroin and prescription painkiller abuse is having a devastating effect on public health and safety across the United States. According to the CDC, drug overdoses now surpass automobile accidents as the leading cause of accidental death for Americans aged 25 to 64. More than 120 Americans die as a result of overdose every day. While addiction is a treatable disease, only about 10 percent of those who need treatment get it.

We know from experience that the most effective way to address these challenges is to initiate a comprehensive response that addresses all aspects of the problem. Designed to respond both to today's heroin and opiate epidemic and tomorrow's threats, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) is an all-inclusive response to opiate and heroin addiction that includes prevention, law enforcement strategies, overdose prevention, expansion of evidence-based treatment and support for those in, or seeking, recovery.

CARA was first introduced in the 113th Congress by Senators Whitehouse and Portman and Representatives Sensenbrenner and Scott. This bi-partisan legislation is a comprehensive and commonsense solution to the opiate and heroin addiction epidemic that faces our country. Both the Senate and House bills have been reintroduced this year in the 114th Congress and are building momentum with additional co-sponsors.

Here's how you can get involved:


1) Locate the number of your state Senator and House Representatives here.

2) Please feel free to use either of these suggested phone scripts:

"CARA provides important tools to law enforcement in the fight against heroin and opiate addiction. It would provide opportunities for programs other than incarceration for individuals convicted of drug use, provide training for and increase availability of naloxone, a life-saving overdose combatting drug, and would expand the federal drug take-back program. These are crucial steps to controlling this epidemic and would benefit every state in the nation, including [STATE]. Please have Senator/Representative XXXX co-sponsor this important legislation."

"CARA provides important tools for treatment and recovery in the fight against heroin and opiate addiction. It would provide funds for an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention demonstration, authorize the creation of a national youth recovery initiative, and provide funds to non-profits in order to create communities of recovery. These are crucial steps to controlling this epidemic and would benefit every state in the nation, including [STATE]. Please have Senator/Representative XXXX co-sponsor this important legislation."




ACAP Leadership Council Elections Meeting


 Tuesday, June 9, 4 to 5:30 p.m. at T.C. Williams Rotunda, 3330 King St.


In addition to the elections, this meeting will be a 15 year anniversary celebration and feature a presentation on current teen pregnancy data.




Colorado health officials are trying to find a way to prevent people from overdosing on marijuana edibles. The products have been implicated in two suicides and one murder in the past 13 months, according to The Denver Post.


Almost five million edibles were sold in Colorado stores last year. The Denver Post commissioned lab tests of 10 popular brands, and found edibles' highs are more delayed and long-lasting than smoking or vaporizing marijuana. Some brands severely mismeasure the potency of their products, the newspaper found.


The state has standardized edibles' warning labels, and mandated that 10-milligram doses of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, be individually wrapped. Colorado is also running educational campaigns about proper use of edibles. A mandatory lab-testing program requires edible companies to test each batch for potency.


New rules for edibles are due January 1. While they may help reduce accidental ingestions, it is unclear if they will stop people from eating too much, too fast, critics contend.


Edible marijuana products have become a popular alternative to smoking marijuana in Colorado, since retail sales of the products became legal. Adults 21 and over can legally purchase marijuana edibles at state-licensed stores. Marijuana is now available in products ranging from candy to soda and granola. The amount of marijuana in edible products varies widely. In some cases, products contain levels so high that people experience extreme paranoia and anxiety.



A new study finds the levels of chemicals in some brands of e-cigarette flavoring exceed recommended limits. Some of the chemicals could be respiratory irritants, HealthDay reports.

The flavorings used in e-cigarette fluids are generally the same as those used in food and candy. The difference is that when they are used in e-cigarette fluids, they are inhaled, not eaten, the researchers note in Tobacco Control. They point out the chemicals used for flavoring are usually not included on ingredient labels.


The study included 30 e-cigarette fluids. The flavors tested included cherry, cotton candy, bubble gum and grape. The researchers looked at the types and levels of chemicals. They did not investigate whether the chemicals were safe. They calculated that a person using a typical amount of e-cigarette fluid a day would be exposed to twice the recommended occupational exposure limits of the chemicals benzaldehyde and vanillin.


The results are "likely to be similar to what a broad survey would have revealed, and in any case strongly suggest that very high levels of some flavor chemicals are undoubtedly present in a great number of the thousands of products currently available," wrote researcher James Pankow of Portland State University in Oregon.

Pankow and colleagues called for new regulations on e-cigarettes, including requiring a listing of ingredients, limits on the levels of certain flavorings, and limits on the total levels of flavoring, "particularly as there is some concern that flavored products might make e-cigarettes more attractive to young people."



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a social media campaign called "When the Prescription Becomes the Problem." The campaign is designed to raise awareness of prescription painkiller abuse and overdose.


The CDC is encouraging people who have been affected by prescription painkiller addiction to share their stories on social media, Forbes reports. The campaign urges people to write their six-word story or message, create an original picture or a video tagged #RxProblem, post it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by May 15, and ask friends and followers to share it.


"Starting April 6th, help us tell the stories of the many people whose lives have been affected by prescription painkiller addiction or the death of a loved one," the CDC says on its campaign website. "Encourage those in need to seek treatment for addiction. Celebrate others who are already working to change lives, and inspire our communities to improve patient safety and the way we treat pain."


There were 16,235 deaths involving prescription opioids in 2013, an increase of 1 percent from 2012, according to the CDC.



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