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SAPCA Members, 


You are invited to participate in a SAPCA Listening Session, otherwise known as a focus group. We want to gather information about what you know, believe and how you prevent youth substance use and abuse in our community. We will use this information to create a community assessment so we can refine our strategies to combat youth substance use and abuse. Stay tuned for more details about the dates and times.


Contact me at if you are interested in participating.




* SAPCA Coordinator Attends CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute
* Risky Behaviors Workshop for ARHA Group
*Board Meeting (8/7)
* Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (8/29 & 30)
* Alexandria Mentoring Partnership Information Session (8/12)
* ACPS Back to School Family Night (8/21)
* SAMHSA's, Talk. They Hear You" Campaign Webinar (8/8)
* Exploring the Link: Drugs and Mental Health (8/29)
* Teen's Secret Message
* One in Nine U.S. High School Seniors Report Using Synthetic Marijuana in the Past Year
* America's Dropout Crisis: The Unrecognized Connection to Adolescent Substance Use
* Survey Finds 82% of Adults Support Banning Smoking in Cars With Children


More than 1,700 substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists from across the country convened in Austin, Texas two weeks ago for CADCA's 2013 Mid-Year Training Institute, where they gained new skills to tackle their community's drug and crime problems.
The one-of-a-kind intensive training opportunity offered participants more than 75 half-day and full-day courses on a wide range of topics - everything from how to address prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs to how to create tobacco-free environments and develop policies to reduce marijuana use and underage drinking. 
Risky Behaviors Workshop for ARHA Group (7/9)


SAPCA, ACAP, and the Gang Prevention Task Force presented, "It's Never Too Early and Never Too Late to Talk to Your Kids" to eight parents from the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. Parents learned how to talk to their kids about tough subjects such as drugs, sex, and violence and specific techniques they could use to monitor their children.


If you would like to host a presentation, contact Noraine at


Board Meeting (8/7) 


Wednesday, August 7, 6:00-7:30 p.m., 421 King St. 4th floor Conference Room


Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (8/29 & 30) 

SAPCA and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy are hosting the Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference on Thursday, August 29 and Friday August 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 905 Wythe St. The conference is FREE for Alexandria teens (rising 9th graders through 12th graders). We will provide meals.


The conference topics include: Leadership 101, Public Speaking, Graphic Design, and Writing for Social Media.


Fill out the registration form on SAPCA's website and email it to



Alexandria Mentoring Partnership Information Session (8/12)
The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership will host an information session on August 12 from 6-8 p.m. at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street). Discover how an hour per week can make a lasting impact on a child and the community. Check out this video featuring mentors and youth from Alexandria.
Email  or call (703.746.4496) if you are interested in mentoring, but unable to attend the session.
ACPS Back to School Family Night (8/21)
ACPS Back to School Family Night is an opportunity for ACPS families to gain valuable tools, information and resources regarding their children's education and available community resources.
This event will take place on August 21, 6 to 8 p.m. at TC Williams High School, 3330 King St.
Stop by the SAPCA table!


SAMHSA'S, "Talk. They Hear You" Campaign Webinar (8/8)


Join the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for a free training webinar on implementing SAMHSA's "Talk. They Hear You." Campaign in your community. This Campaign aims to reduce underage drinking among youth ages 9 to 15 by providing their parents and caregivers with information they need to start addressing the issue of alcohol with their children early.

Exploring the Link: Drugs and Mental Health (8/29)


Does a mental health issue lead to substance use? Does substance abuse lead to a mental health issue? The answers to those questions are not clear, but we do know millions of adults in the United States have both. A very small percentage of people receive treatment for both conditions and a majority doesn't receive any treatment at all.


Research has shown that treatment addressing both conditions at the same time has better outcomes with lower costs, yet it still isn't happening nearly enough.


During this hour-long broadcast, Exploring the Link: Drugs & Mental Health, they will look at the most common co-occurring disorders, learn about treatment options, and see how the shift towards a behavioral health model can make a difference.


The webinar will take place on Thursday, August 29 from 1 - 2 p.m. Register online to participate.


Teen's Secret Message

HHS HealthBeat is out with an interesting strategy for helping teens get out of a tight spot by enlisting the help of a parent. The peer pressure to drink - or get into some other kind of trouble - can be tough on a teen. But there's a way for a teen with a mobile phone to slip out of those uncomfortable situations. 
Marijuana and synthetic marijuana are the most prevalent illicit drugs used by 12th graders, according to data from the most recent national Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. Slightly more than one-third (36.4%) of high school seniors reported using marijuana in the past year, including 11.3% who reported using synthetic marijuana, compared with less than 8% for all other illicit drugs (see figure below).


The MTF survey also found that approximately one-fourth (24%) of 12th graders perceive a great risk for harm in trying synthetic marijuana once or twice, and one-third (33%) think there is a great risk for harm in using the drug occasionally, compared to 15% and 21%, respectively, for marijuana. Previous research on high school students has shown that students' perceived risk is related to their likelihood of using a drug.


America's Dropout Crisis: The Unrecognized Connection To Adolescent Substance Use
Experts at the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. and the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health investigated the connection between adolescent substance use and the risk for dropout in the U.S. and published a report about their findings. Some of the following conclusions were made:
  • The associations between substance use, academic failure, and dropout are strong and well-recognized among researchers and educators who study adolescent substance use, but they are rarely acknowledged in educational circles or among state and federal policy makers.
  • There is compelling evidence that the association of academic difficulties and substance use is bidirectional. In some individuals, academic difficulties precede the onset of substance use, and in those cases, a vicious cycle can ensue-leading to even more severe academic difficulties and eventual dropout. In other cases, even controlling for individual background characteristics, substance use precedes and contributes to academic failure and dropout, especially when substance use is frequent and severe.
  • Adolescents who are at risk for academic failure or have dropped out of school are likely to have substance use problems in combination with an array of other problem behaviors that, if not addressed, place them at extremely high risk for costly long-term adversity, including unemployment, crime, and poor health.
  • Little is being done to screen for substance use in pediatric and educational settings, and even less is being done to address escalating substance use problems among adolescents at risk for dropout or those who have already dropped out of high school.
  • Of all the problems that contribute to dropping out, substance use is one of the easiest to identify and one of the most easily stopped by interventions including treatment.
  • Research evidence shows that when adolescents stop substance use, academic performance improves.



Survey Finds 82% of Adults Support Banning Smoking in Cars With Children

A new survey finds 82 percent of American adults say they support a ban on smoking in cars that are carrying children younger than 13.


The survey by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital found 87 percent of adults support banning smoking in businesses that allow children, while 75 percent would like to see a ban on smoking in homes with children who have asthma or other lung diseases.


HealthDay reports that 60 percent of current smokers support the ban on smoking in cars with children, compared with 87 percent of people who never smoked, and 84 percent of former smokers. Currently seven states ban smoking in cars that carry children-Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Illinois, Oregon and Utah, the article notes. Hawaii, Indiana, New Jersey and New York have cities or counties with such laws.





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