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SAPCA Members,  


The Marijuana workgroup is ready to start its work. Please join us next Tuesday, December 13, 6-7:30pm, at 720 North Saint Asaph St. for the meeting. If you are unable to attend, but would like to join the group, contact me at


'Tis the season to talk with your kids about drinking and drugs. Celebrations provide increased opportunity for teens to experiment with alcohol as it becomes more accessible during the holiday period. Teens who learn about the risks of drugs and alcohol at home are 50 percent less likely to use substances. Check out the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's guide, Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child about Alcohol.


Happy Holidays,





* Minnie Howard Students and Parents Talk Alcohol and Other Drugs at COC Dinner (11/10)
* TC PTSA Appreciates Presentation on Risky Behaviors (11/28)
* SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings
* Tell FTC to Kill the Deal with Four Loko
* GWMS Parent Chat Group (11/17)
* Designer Drugs: The New Frontier (01/26)
* Designer Drugs: The New Frontier (01/26)
* FDA Announces Plan for $600 Million Campaign On Dangers of Tobacco Use
* Number of Prescription Painkiller Deaths More Than Tripled in Last 10 Years
* Marijuana Use and Adolescents: What Clinicians Need to Know
* Rise in Prescription Stimulatn Abuse Concerns College Administrators


Minnie Howard Students and Parents Talk Alcohol and Other Drugs at COC Dinner (11/10)


SAPCA partnered with the TC Williams PTSA and administration to host the second Community of Concern Dinner at Minnie Howard. Over 80 students and their parents engaged in open dialogue about how to stay drug free. TC Juniors, Derek Bibbs and Alonzo Nichols talked to the freshmen and their parents about the positive influences in their lives that keep them drug and alcohol free through their high school careers.

TC PTSA Appreciates Presentation on Risky Behaviors (11/28)


Shelly Morgan, SAPCA Vice-Chair and Noraine presented "It's Never to Early and Never to Late to Talk to Your Kids" to twenty parents and administrators at TC Williams.  Parents were most interested in how to start conversations and keep the lines of communication open when discussing teen pregnancy and substance abuse. On parent commented, "More parents need to hear this so that adults can work together for our kids."
To request a presentation for your school or community group, contact Noraine at

SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings

SAPCA's Marijuana Workgroup Meeting (12/13) 

Tuesday,  December 13, 6-7:30pm, 720 North Saint Asaph St.



Following the success of a coalition of public health organizations, government agencies and health experts in forcing the alcohol industry to remove caffeine from alcoholic beverages, a new public health threat is emerging: supersized alcopops. These products come in 23.5 ounce, single-serving cans that look like soft drink containers, with up to 12 percent alcohol content-the equivalent of 4.7 standard drinks.

in a single-serving can to two servings.


The campaign to remove caffeine from alcopops demonstrates how important advocacy on the state level is in building momentum that drives federal action. Contact Virginia legislators about introducing a bill that would require these products to be sold in single-serving containers.


GWMS Parent Chat Group (12/8)

George Washington Middle School parents are invited to attend another Parent Leadership Chat Group on December 8 at Beth and Tim Lovain's house, 2606 Davis Avenue. Participating parents will connect with other parents who care about underage drinking and marijuana  prevention, learn new information and share challenges and ideas for preventing underage drinking and marijuana usage. They will receive practical tips to use at home and share with other parents.  Contact Beth at 703-549-1441 or to register.


Adult-supervised Alcohol Use and Harmful Consequences among American and Australian Teens (12/15) 


Although harm-minimization perspectives contend that youth drinking in adult-supervised settings is protective against future harmful use, a recent study has found that adult supervised drinking of youth in both Australia and the U.S. resulted in higher levels of harmful alcohol use a year later at age 15. Presenters will provide an overview of how to use "prevention science" findings on risk and protective factors for youth alcohol use, discuss research findings, and share ideas on how the research may be strategically used to advance Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program work, as well as specific examples of research to practice applications by practitioners.
The program will air on December 15, 3-4:15pm. Click here to register.

Designer Drugs: The New Frontier (01/26) 


During this program, Designer Drugs: The New Frontier, the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force will take a look at  new and emerging drug threats like bath salts and spice. The audience will hear who is most at risk, and learn what they can do about it.


The program will air on January 26, 1-2pm. Click here to register.



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will spend about $600 million over five years on a campaign to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco, the Associated Press reports.


The first part of the campaign will target groups including youth, minorities, the military, the gay community and people with disabilities, Dr. Lawrence Deyton, Director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, told the AP. The campaign will include ads on TV and in print, and will use social media including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Deyton said the FDA hopes to reduce the smoking rate in the United States, which has been stalled at about 20 percent since 2004.


The number of Americans who died from overdoses of prescription painkillers more than tripled in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More people now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined.


An estimated 14,800 people died in the United States from painkiller overdoses in 2008, a more than threefold jump from the 4,000 deaths recorded in 1999, the CDC said in a new report. The CDC said painkiller abuse and deaths are rising because the drugs are easier than ever to obtain. According to the CDC, enough painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around the clock for a month.


As marijuana use among teenagers increases and its perceived danger among this age group decreases, clinicians need to know the latest science about the harmful effects of the drug on the adolescent brain, according to a researcher at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Paula Riggs, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, notes the most recent Monitoring the Future Survey shows a significant increase in marijuana use, including daily marijuana use among U. S. high school students and a decrease in perceived risk of use.


Research shows that marijuana can cause structural damage, neuronal loss and impair brain function on a number of levels, from basic motor coordination to more complex tasks, such as the ability to plan, organize, solve problems, remember, make decisions and control behavior and emotions. 


College administrators say they are concerned about an increase in prescription stimulant abuse among students, The Washington Post reports. Abuse of prescription stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall, popular among students trying to stay focused while studying, has long been an issue on college campuses, the article notes. But as sales for these drugs increase, administrators say they are worried abuse of the drugs is also on the rise.


Prescription stimulants can cause a variety of health problems if they are misused, including an irregular heartbeat and panic attacks. They can be deadly in rare cases if they are mixed with alcohol or other drugs. To combat the problem, many colleges are trying to educate students about the dangers of abusing stimulant drugs, and are attempting to pinpoint issues that lead to abuse of the drugs, such as high levels of stress, poor study skills or too much partying during the week.


Noraine Buttar, MPH
720 North Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-3670 (office)
703-887-8812 (mobile)