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SAPCA Members, 


Please join me in thanking Mary-Jane Atwater, Tricia Bassing, and Victoria Menjivar for their service on SAPCA's board. We appreciate all of their contributions and will miss them at board meetings! 


 SAPCA Board Dec 2012 Tricia  

 (L-R) Victoria Menjivar, Allen Lomax, Mary-Jane         (L-R) Noraine Buttar, Tricia Bassing           





* SAPCA Welcomes Delegation from Colombia
* SAPCA Attends America's Promise - 100 Best Communities Reception
* 182.5 Billion Alcohol Tax Proposed to President Obama
* Teen Wellness Center Invites Students and Parents to Complete Survey
* What's Next Alexandria (11/15)
* Get Involved in Youth Policy Planning
* Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain (1/17)
* Sixty Percent of High School Students Report Drugs are Used, Kept, or Sold in Their Schools
* ED and U.S. Department of Justice Revise Parent's Guide to Drug Prevention
* Marijuana Use Poses Significant Health and Safety Risks


SAPCA Welcomes Delegation from Colombia 


 Colombian Delegation  


A delegation from Colombia, organized by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, visited SAPCA members on November 1. Derek Bibbs and Nancy Martinez, SAPCA Board members and TC Williams students, explained how and why they became involved in the coalition, and suggested strategies the Colombian visitors could use to recruit and engage youth. Tricia Bassing, SAPCA Board Member, Noraine, and Lisette Torres, Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) Coordinator, described SAPCA and ACAP's activities and the importance of youth leadership. 


SAPCA Attends America's Promise - 100 Best Communities Reception 


Alma Powell and Mayor Euille  

Alma Powell, chair of the board of directors of America's Promise, presented an award to Mayor William D. Euille designating Alexandria as one of America's Promise's 100 Best Communities for Young People. The presentation at City Hall highlighted the kickoff of the City's Youth Master Planning Process.

This is the fifth time that the City was named one of America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING. The national award is given to recognize Alexandria's outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for its programs and services that make it an outstanding place for youth to live, learn and grow. 

Recognition was given to: the Fund for Alexandria's Child,  the Space of Her Own mentorship program to take classes on healthy habits, communications and art; the Alexandria Housing Authority's Ruby Tucker Center; and community engagement efforts of the Gang Prevention Community Task Force, Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, and the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.


$182.5 Billion Alcohol Tax Proposed to President Obama


Tell our federal officials now that alcohol taxes should be increased to reimburse government for some of the cost of alcohol-related health and public safety services.


Did you know that since 1991 Big Alcohol lobbying has resulted in our country losing $57 billion in revenue?  Or that a new alcohol tax increase could help fill nearly 12% of the President's revenue portion of the nation's ten-year deficit reduction goal?

It's time to tell our national leaders to hold Big Alcohol accountable and get them to pay their fair share while helping to reduce the deficit.
The catastrophe of alcohol-related harm will be reversed with a 10 cent spirits tax increase, 15 cents on beer and 18 cents on wine.


Click here to take action.


Two New Prevention Positions Open


The following two positions within the Center for Children and Families in the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services are open until 5pm on December 15:

Please share this with your contacts.  If you have questions after reading the position descriptions, please contact Tricia Bassing at

Teen Wellness Center Invites Students and Parents to Complete Survey


The Teen Wellness Center would like to hear from youth as well as their parents. Parents and guardians are invited to complete an online satisfaction survey, which is available in English and Spanish. Youth are invited to complete a different online satisfaction survey in either English and Spanish.

What's Next Alexandria (January 2013) 


"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. 


Approximately 165 Alexandrians participated in a Community Dialogue on November 15.  That night, after hearing results of the community poll  and remarks by Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, founder and former President of AmericaSpeaks and Executive Director of the of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, attendees worked together on principles of engagement.


Stay tuned for future community dialogue date announcements.

Get Involved in Youth Policy Planning (2/9, 2/11, 2/13) 


 The Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission is seeking input on developing policies for the city's children and youth.  The youth master plan is slated to be completed in 2013. To help guide that plan, three forums have been scheduled to get input from the community on the issues surrounding youth. To participate in the planning process, contact Ron Frazier at 703-746-5967 or attend any of the following forums:

  • Saturday, Feb. 9, T. C. Williams High School cafeteria, 3330 King St., 10 a.m. - Noon
  • Monday, Feb. 11, Charles Houston Center, 901 Wythe St., 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 23, William Ramsay Center, 5650 Sanger Ave., 10 a.m. - Noon


Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain (1/17)


Aaron White, PhD, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Abuse, MD will share the most recent and compelling research on the effect of alcohol on the developing brain. He brings together a developmental understanding of the adolescent and the structural changes that the brain undergoes which affects behavioral choices. Registrants will learn how early alcohol use can be damaging to the critical developmental process occurring in the brain and the necessity to deter underage drinking.


The electronic seminar will take place on Thursday, January 17, 3 - 4:15 p.m. Click here to register.



Sixty Percent of High School Students Report Drugs Are Used, Kept, or Sold in Their Schools 


For the sixth year in a row, 60% or more of high school students report that drugs are used, kept, or sold on their school grounds, according to a telephone survey of U.S. youth ages 12 to 17. While the percentage of students reporting that there are drugs in their school has decreased from the high of 66% in 2010 to 60% in 2012, the current percentage remains higher than a decade ago (44%). The survey also found that 36% of high school students believe that it is fairly or very easy for students to smoke, drink or use drugs during the day at their school without getting caught and more than half (52%) say that there is a place on school grounds or near their school where students go to smoke, drink, or use drugs during the school day.

ED and U.S. Department of Justice Revise Parent's Guide to Drug Prevention


Growing up Drug-Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention (2012) has been released! The U.S. Department of Justice partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to revise this publication that was originally published in 1998. The 55-page booklet is organized in 6 major sections: 1) How This Book Will Help You? 2) What Substances Do Kids Use? 3) Why Do Kids Use Drugs? 4) How Do I Teach My Child About Drugs? 5) What If I Think My Child is Using Drugs? 6) Resources. Parents and caregivers will find this publication a user-friendly and valuable guide for what to do and how to communicate about the harmful effects of illicit drugs and alcohol to children from elementary through high school.


Marijuana Use Poses Significant Health and Safety Risks


Legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs runs counter to a public health approach to drug policy. By increasing availability of illegal drugs, use will increase along with the associated public health and safety risks, particularly among young people. 

To learn more about the science of marijuana use, the Office of National Drug Control Policy maintains an extensive online Marijuana Resource Center with research materials on the health and safety risks associated with marijuana use to Federal laws related to the drug and the impact of marijuana use on crime and the Nation's economy.


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