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SAPCA Members,  


The Providing Information Workgroup is planning activities for April for Alcohol Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy, safe choices . To join the committee, contact me at noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov or send me your ideas!





* Y Street Campaign Off to a Strong Start
* City Council Approves Signage Asking Community Membrs Not to Smoke in Parks and Bus Stations
* SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings
* Alcohol Watchdogs Target Supersized Alcopops as Urgent Issue
* SAPCA Members to Attend CADCA National Leadership Forum (2/6-2/9)
* ACAP Fundraiser: Josephine Tonight (2/9)
* Making the Grade on College Drinking Prevention (2/6)
* Family History of Alcohol may Effect Teens' Decision Making
* New Study Documents Joe Camel-like Tactics to Transform Youth Drinking Behavior
* Teaching Self-Regulation May be the Best Way to Influence Drug-Taking Decisions by Kids


Y Street Campaign Off to a Strong Start 


Thirty TC Williams students were trained as "Y Streeters" and given the tools to carry out tobacco prevention projects in Alexandria. Y St's Mini-Grant Program was established to recruit members to lead campaigns that promote healthy, tobacco-free lifestyles for Virginians. The Teen Wellness Center, supported by SAPCA and the Clean and Smoke Free Air Coalition, received a $2,000 mini-grant from Y Street. 

City Council Approves Signage Asking Community Members Not to Smoke in Parks and Bus Stations 
Coalition for Clean and Smoke Free Air


City Council approved the Health Department's recommendation to move forward with Phase II of Council's May, 2011 resolution which allowed for signs stating, "For everyone's health, thank you for not smoking" to be placed in all City parks and City-owned bus shelters. Phase I allowed the installation of the signs in City playgrounds. Clean and Smoke Free Air Coalition members, Department of Community and Human Services Peer Advisors, Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Teen Council members, SAPCA members, and community volunteers showed up in full force to support the resolution.  

SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings

ACPS Substance Abuse Regulation Review Committee (2/16) 

Thursday  February 16, 4-5:30pm, TC Williams, 3330 King St.

SAPCA's Board Meeting (2/21) 

Tuesday,  February 21, 6-7:30pm, 720 North Saint Asaph St.

Marijuana Prevention Workgroup Meeting (2/27) 

Monday,  February 27, 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.



SAPCA Chair, Allen Lomax; Vice-Chair, Shelly Morgan, Board member, Derek Bibbs; SAPCA members, Tae'Von Bibbs and Alonzo Nichols; and SAPCA Coordinator, Noraine Buttar will attend the 2012 Community Anti-Drug Coaltions of America Leadership Forum. Allen, Derek, and Noraine will present, "Engaging Youth and Creating Community Partnerships Through Community YouthMapping" during the conference.


CADCA's National Leadership Forum is a 4-day event packed with multiple opportunities to learn the latest strategies to fight substance abuse and hear from nationally-known experts and policymakers. The Forum brings together more than 2,500 participants representing community anti-drug coalitions from all regions of the country, government leaders, youth, addiction treatment professionals, researchers, educators, law enforcement professionals and faith-based leaders.

ACAP Fundraiser: Josephine Tonight (2/9)

The Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women is holding a benefit performance of Josephine Tonight, a musical biography of showbiz legend Josephine Baker, at the Metro Stage, 1201 North Royal St. in Alexandria, Thursday, February 9. The event, which includes a pre-performance reception at 6:30 p.m. and a live auction at intermission, will help raise awareness of and funding for one of SAPCA's partners, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP).


Tickets for the performance are $75, of which $40 is tax deductible. They can be purchased by contacting FriendsofAlexWomen@gmail.com or clicking here.


Making the Grade on College Drinking Prevention (2/6) 


The Substance Abuse Mental and Mental Health Services Adminstration will sponsor a live webcast on February 6 from 1:45 to 3pm. Dr. William DeJong, Boston University School of Public Health, will moderate a panel that will include Dr. Ralph W. Hingson, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, and representatives from campus communities.
The panel will discuss both challenges and successes in preventing alcohol use by college students, with a focus on proven environmental prevention approaches, and answer questions from a live audience and from people posting via the Web. For more details and login information, click here



A family history of alcoholism may affect teenagers' decision-making, researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University have found. They discovered these adolescents have a weaker brain response during risky decision-making compared with teens without such a family history.


The researchers conclude in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, "Atypical brain activity, in regions implicated in executive functioning could lead to reduced cognitive control, which may result in risky choices regarding alcohol use."


Underage drinkers have made a dramatic shift in the last decade. from beer to distilled spirits, particularly "white" drinks including vodka, tequila and rum. Alcohol policy expert James F. Mosher, JD, discusses his new study, Joe Camel in a Bottle: Diageo, the Smirnoff Brand, and the Transformation of the Youth Alcohol Market to help explain the shift. 


 The Joe Camel youth brand studies of the 1980s provided an important impetus for more focused studies on tobacco marketing and for significant changes in tobacco control. A similar focus on youth brand preferences, alcohol marketing and alcohol policy reform should be top priorities for the public health field.


Acknowledging that ongoing brain development during adolescence is linked to self-regulation is an important perspective for youth-serving professionals and parents as they address teenage substance use/dependence - including prescription drug diversion.


Parents and treatment providers cannot stop brain maturation, but they can shape it. One path may be to teach important self-regulation skills that are related to decision making. This way they help strengthen what may be a "weakness" for the adolescent brain. 
Parents, doctors, treatment providers and educators are crucial to influencing teenagers' decisions for or against drinking or drug taking. Teaching developmentally appropriate self-regulation skills may make better sense than asking something of a young person whose brain isn't (yet) fully capable of delivering the action requested. 


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