Quick Links...

SAPCA Members, 


Please mark your calendars for the quarterly meeting on Monday, September 17, 7-8:30 p.m. We will hear from Sergeant Courtney Ballantine, School Resource Unit Supervisor and the School Resource Officers about the work they do in the schools. Come with questions!  





* SAPCA Engages in Summer Fun with Power Up Program
* SAPCA Presents wreckED to Summer School Youth
* SAPCA Members Meet with Delegation from the Philippines
* SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings
* Ask the FDA to Ban Menthol
* National Night Out (8/7)
* Prescription Drug Take Back Day (9/29)
* METWC's 5th Annual Back-2-School Slam Jam Explosion (8/11)
* Get Engaged - Back to School Family Night (8/29)
* Creating a Coalition Identity (9/27)
* Study Suggests Smoking in Movies May Influence Kids to Try Cigarettes
* Coordinated Strategy Has Impact on High-Risk College Drinking, Study Suggests


SAPCA Engages in Summer Fun with Power Up Program Youth 


Noraine led substance abuse prevention games and workshops during Power Up, the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Actives summer youth program. Over forty middle and high school youth learned about the dangers of underage drinking and how to handle difficult situations by playing The Partnership at's wreckED game.


If you work with youth and would like to host a wreckED presentation, contact Noraine at

SAPCA Presents wreckED to Summer School Youth 


Noraine presented The Partnership at's wreckED, a program that challenges teens to think more about their own and their friends' behavior regarding alcohol and other drugs, and to consider the consequences of getting involved. Two summer school classes at Minnie Howard attended the presentations. Youth asked questions such as, "Is marijuana addictive?" and "How do you know if your friend has a drinking problem?"

SAPCA Members Meet with Delegation from the Philippines  


Philippines Delegation Visit_2012
(L-R) Eric Siervo, Charlotte Clinger, Noraine Buttar, Mary-Jane Atwater,
Dr. Raquel Tolentino, Derek Bibbs, Nancy Martinez


Mary-Jane Atwater, SAPCA Board Member; Charlotte Clinger, Derek Bibbs, and Nancy Martinez, SAPCA Youth Board Members; and Noraine met with a delegation from the Philippines on Monday, July 30. Dr. Raquel Tolentino, Officer-in-Charge from the Drug Abuse Prevention & Control Office of the City Government of Muntinlupa and Mr. Arnoel Santos, Community Development Officer from the Office of the Vice-Mayor in Marikina City are interested in creating a coalition in their hometowns in the Philippines. Eric Siervo, Manager of International Programs, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and Dr. Evelyn Yang, Deputy Director, Evaluation and Research, CADCA arranged the visit and accompanied the delegation.


Dr. Tolentino and Mr. Santos asked questions about how SAPCA was formed, the work we do, and the outcomes of our work in the City of Alexandria. Both commented on how much they learned from the visit.


SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings

Strategic Planning & Board Meeting 


Tuesday, August 14, 6:-7:30 p.m., 720 North Saint Asaph St.


 * Strategic planning Meeting will be from 6 to 7 p.m., Board Meeting starts at 7 p.m.


Quarterly Meeting


Monday, September 17, 7-8:30 p.m., Location TBD


Ask the FDA to Ban Menthol 


With respect to tobacco use and its consequences for public health - there are many things that we know and have known since the first Surgeon's General report on tobacco was released in 1964. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death and premature death in the United States. About 1,200 people die every day in this country from tobacco-related disease. Cigarette prevalence rates have declined to about 20 percent nationwide -which is good news. However, that decline has "stalled" in recent years.


This stall is due to a number of factors including use of mentholated tobacco products. Despite a 22 percent decline in overall packs of cigarettes sold between 2000 and 2005, menthol sales remained stable. Menthols are smoked disproportionately by youth and African-Americans. Amongst African American smokers, greater than 80 percent smoke menthols compared to 27 percent amongst white smokers.


Many research studies have found that menthol-flavored cigarettes are a starter product for youth, possibly due to the fact that the minty taste reduces the harshness of cigarette smoke which may be more appealing to young, inexperienced smokers. Menthol users are less likely to successfully quit smoking than other smokers, despite increased quit attempts and intentions to quit. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cessation rates are significantly lower among Blacks (37 percent) than their white peers (51 percent).


The FDA needs to do the right thing and ban menthol. Click here to email the FDA. 



SAPCA is partnering with the Gang Prevention Task Force and the Office of Citizens Assistance to celebrate National Night Out on August 7.  The special celebration is part of a nationwide crime and drug prevention effort sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.


To heighten awareness of crime prevention, residents in more than 30 Alexandria neighborhoods will turn on their porch lights, host neighborhood cook-outs and sponsor block parties in support of National Night Out.  Mayor William D. Euille, City Manager Rashad M. Young, members of City Council and Chief of Police Earl L. Cook will reaffirm the City's commitment to fighting crime by visiting residents throughout the City.


Contact Noraine at if you want to visit neighborhoods and spread the word about SAPCA's prevention work!


SAPCA is partnering with local law enforcement for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday September 29,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stay tuned for drop off locations. Please plan to drop off your unused prescription drugs!


METWC'S 5th Annual Back-2-School Slam Jam Explosion (8/11)


Mentoring Education Together with Children, Inc (METWC) is holding their annual back to school slam jam explosion on Saturday August 11 from 12 to 6 p.m. at William Ramsay Recreation Center, 5650 Sanger Ave. The event will feature information tables, entertainment, face painting, and much more. Visit us at the SAPCA table!


METWC is an innovative program that is bridging the educational gap for children by promoting community and parent involvement.  The cornerstone of their organization is the utilization community resources to implement programs and strategies to improve education and basic computer skills of low-moderate income youth ranging from ages 6 through 17.


On August 29, 2012, the FACE Center will host the GET ENGAGED Back to School Family Night from 6-8:30 p.m. at T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King St Alexandria , VA 22302. In addition to a keynote address from Dr. Pedro Noguera, one of the country's most important voices on education reform, diversity and the achievement gap, this event will provide lots of fun family activities and will serve as a resource fair for the community. A variety of educational, social and health organizations will participate to provide families with important information, materials and resources.


Creating a Coalition Identity (9/27)


During the hour-long CADCA TV program Creating a Coalition Identity, national experts will show you how to create a brand to help market your coalition.  See how both traditional and social media can help get the word out about your strategies and events, whether through traditional media outreach, leveraging partnerships, or a social media campaign. Also learn about creative vehicles for getting the word out about your coalition or initiative.  


This program will take place on September 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. Register here.



Children ages 10 to 14 who view  movies with characters who smoke are more likely to try cigarettes themselves, a new study suggests. Onscreen smoking influences children regardless of the film's ratings, Reuters reports. This suggests that it is the smoking itself, rather than the sex, violence or profanity that may accompany it, that persuades them to try cigarettes, the study authors say.


The researchers counted how many times characters were seen smoking, in each of more than 500 popular movies. They then asked 6,500 10 to 14 year-olds which of the movies they had seen. The children were re-interviewed during the following two years. Those who had seen movies with a lot of smoking were more likely to start smoking themselves, the study found. For each additional 500 scenes of smoking they had seen, the children were 33 to 49 percent more likely to try smoking themselves over the next two years.


A coordinated strategy aimed at high-risk college drinking can be effective, a new study suggests. The strategy addresses alcohol availability, policy enforcement and perceptions about the rate of high-risk drinking among peers, reports. Campuses that implemented the strategy saw a 50 percent decrease in alcohol-related injuries, the researchers report in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


Strategies included restricting access to alcohol by underage or intoxicated students, increasing or improving coordination between campus and community police, and establishing consistent disciplinary actions for those who violated policies.


Campuses with alcohol-reduction strategies found the percentage of students reporting severe consequences due to their own drinking decreased from 18 percent to 16 percent, while rates were unchanged on campuses without such strategies. Those who reported injuring another person while drinking decreased from 4 percent to 2 percent on campuses with alcohol-reduction strategies, compared with a nonsignificant decrease at the other universities.



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