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SAPCA Members, 


SAPCA seeks anonymous feedback from youth in Alexandria about marijuana use. The feedback will be used to strengthen SAPCA's marijuana prevention efforts. If you are a youth (18 and under) in the City of Alexandria, please complete this brief survey online.


If you work with a group of youth in the City of Alexandria, please have them complete this brief survey online or by using this form. If you use the form, mail the completed forms to the attention of Noraine Buttar, 720 North Saint Asaph Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, or fax them to me at 703-838-5070 or scan and email them to noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov





* SAPCA is Conducting Surveys on Marijuana Use Among Alexandria Youth
* Public Health Groups: Convenience Stores and Tobacco Companies Entice Kids to Smoke
* AIDS Memorial Quilt Display: City of Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS
*Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth Workshops
* Virginia's New DUI Law
* First Time Use of Most Substances Peaks During the Summer Months of June and July
* 74 Percent of Teens in CO Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Used Diverted Medical Marijuana
* Congress Moves to Classify "K2" and "Spice" Chemicals as Schedule I Substances
* Drinking Can Lead to Increased Social Stress and Poor Grades in Teens


SAPCA is Conducting Surveys on Marijuana Use Among Alexandria Youth 


Over 30 Alexandria teens at Charles Houston Recreation Center, on June 28, filled out a survey on marijuana use and its availability and accessability. Please send this link to youth you know or work with in Alexandria. If you work with a group of youth regularly and would like Noraine to administer the survey at your location, please contact her at noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov.


The results of this survey will be used to create a youth-led marijuana prevention campaign. For more information or to join the Marijuana Prevention workgroup, contact Noraine.



Public Health Groups: Convenience Stores and Tobacco Companies Entice Kids to Smoke 


A new report by three public health groups charges tobacco companies have made convenience stores important partners in enticing minors to smoke, through marketing and fighting policies that reduce tobacco use.


Tobacco companies now spend more than 90 percent of their marketing budget-almost $10 billion annually-on convenience stores, gas stations and other retail outlets, according to the report, "Deadly Alliance: How Tobacco Companies and Convenience Stores Partner to Market Tobacco Products and Fight Life-Saving Policies." It was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Counter Tobacco and the American Heart Association.


Convenience stores have become front groups for the tobacco industry in fighting higher tobacco taxes and other policies that are aimed at reducing tobacco use, the report asserts, as well as the dominant channel for marketing tobacco products in the United  States.  More than two-thirds of teens visit a convenience store at least once a week, where they often see tobacco products that are placed at children's eye level or near candy, the report states.


The public health groups call on elected officials to adopt policies such as higher tobacco taxes to reduce tobacco use and to fight the influence of tobacco marketing in stores, according to CSPnet.com. The report also calls for prohibiting price discounting for cigarettes, increasing retailer licensing fees and imposing laws that require tobacco companies to disclose how much money they provide to retailers and others.




All are invited to join the Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS in a community gathering, on Wednesday July 25, 6:00-8:00pm, for Northern Virginia's largest AIDS Memorial Quilt Display in conjunction with the International AIDS Conference running concurrently in Washington, D.C.


Panels from the quilt will be on display Friday, July 20 through Wednesday, July 25 at the Torpedo Factory, 105 North Union Street.


To RSVP for July 25, please contact Thomas Suydam at    suydamtom@comcast.net.


Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth Workshops 


Check out this listing of low-cost Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth 2012 workshops in Fairfax/Fredericksburg through October.  Topics range from youth development to program planning.  Details and to register here



Virginia's DUI law changed over the weekend, and it's much more powerful. As of July 1, anyone convicted of even one DUI will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for six months.


To learn more, visit www.dontblowitva.com, where you will have access to materials that will help you better understand this new law. Share them with your family and friends. Start spreading the word in Virginia so that more people think twice about drunk driving.



The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Adminstration (SAMHSA)  released a report stating, on an average day in June and July, more than 11,000 adolescents age 12 to 17 use alcohol for the first time. December is the only other month with comparable levels. Throughout the rest of the year, the daily average for first-time alcohol use ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 adolescents. The report is based on SAMHSA's 2002 to 2010 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.


Similarly in June and July, an average of 5,000 youths smoke cigarettes for the first time, as opposed to the daily average of about 3,000 to 4,000 adolescents during the rest of the year.  The same pattern holds true to a large degree for first time use of cigars and smokeless tobacco among youth. In terms of first-time use of marijuana, more than 4,500 youth start using it on an average day in June and July, as opposed to about 3,000 to 4,000 youths during the other months.

Three-quarters of teenage patients in substance abuse treatment programs in Denver, Colorado said they used someone else's medical marijuana, according to a new study.


The study revealed that 121 of 164 teenage patients (73.8 percent) have ever used medical marijuana prescribed to someone else.  Patients reported using diverted medical marijuana from one to 1,000 times, with a median of 50 times, suggesting that most adolescent patients have used medical marijuana on multiple occasions, according to Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Division of Substance Dependence.


The study found that after adjusting for gender and race/ethnicity, teenage patients who used medical marijuana had an earlier age of regular marijuana use, more marijuana abuse and dependence symptoms, and more conduct disorder symptoms, compared with those who did not use medical marijuana.

Congress Moves to Classify "K2" and "Spice" Chemicals as Schedule I Substances

Both houses of Congress have now passed S. 3187 which will classify 26 synthetic chemicals-used to make "fake weed," "K2" "Spice," and "bath salts"-as Schedule I substances. Substances classified as Schedule I have a high potential for abuse, have no medical use in the United States, and "lack of accepted safety for use."


In December, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released new information indicating that one in nine high school seniors had used "Spice" or "K2" over the past year, making synthetic marijuana the second most frequently used illicit drug, after marijuana, among high school seniors. Poison control centers operating across the nation have also reported sharp increases in the number of calls relating to synthetic drugs.


Alcohol consumption can lead to increased social stress and poor grades in teens, a new study shows. Teens who drink are more likely than their non-drinking peers to feel like social outcasts, according to HealthDay.


Social isolation that comes with drinking is most evident in schools that have tight cliques and fewer student drinkers. This suggests that teens who drink feel like outcasts when they are not with other drinkers, the University of Texas researchers said.

They looked at data from a national survey of almost 8,300 teens at 126 schools. They found a direct connection between teens' feelings of isolation and worse grades.


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