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SAPCA Members,  
Have you checked out our Kick Butts Day video? 

Kick Butts Day 2015 in Alexandria VA
Kick Butts Day 2015

On Kick Butts Day in March, SAPCA, in partnership with the Campagna Center's Building Better Futures Program, Jefferson Houston's 21st Century Community Learning Center and the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, supported the Food and Drug Administration's Break the Chain campaign by engaging over 30 Alexandria youth in ensuring that tobacco vendors are checking photo IDs. 

A huge thanks to Abby Hamilton and Yahya Yaziji for producing this video.



* SAPCA Board Says Goodbye to Graduating Seniors
* SAPCA Co-Sponsors Middle School COC Dinner at GW
* FREE Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (8/17-8/19)
* Vacant Seats for Two Youth Board Members
* SAPCA is Hiring a Social Media Intern
* Act for Alexandria's Community Calendar
* Study Questions Effectiveness of Medical Marijuana for Many Conditions
* Study Finds Growing Number of Young Children Exposed to Marijuana
* Underage Drinking Decreasing: Government Report
* 60 Percent of Adults Favor Total Ban on Powdered Alcohol in Their State: Poll


SAPCA Board Says Goodbye to Graduating Seniors



 The SAPCA Board said goodbye to Daniel Crowley (left) and Andrea Melara (right), former T.C. Williams Seniors, now headed off to college! We look forward to hearing about their college experiences.


SAPCA Co-Sponsors Middle School COC Dinner at GW

SAPCA partnered with the Family and Community Engagement Center and the George Washington Middle School PTA and administration to host an middle-school  Community of Concern  Dinner. Over eighty students and their parents engaged in open dialogue about how to stay drug free. Students told parents how to support their child if they were at a party where alcohol turned up. Parents told students what they hoped their child would do if confronted with such a situation. 


FREE Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (8/17- 8/19)



Vacant Seats for Two Youth Board Members


SAPCA has two vacant seats for youth members on the Board. Members will start serving in September.  


As a board member:

  • You will help plan the programs and activities that reduce youth substance use and abuse in the City of Alexandria. 
  • You will bring strong youth leadership and valuable opinions to SAPCA's board
  • You will attend meetings once a month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • You will participate in SAPCA's activities. Check out our website to see what these activities are - www.preventitalexandria.org  

If you are interested, please send me a paragraph telling me about yourself. Include activities,clubs, volunteer experience, and why you are interested in serving on SAPCA's board.  


Please contact me at 703-746-3670 or noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov with any questions.

Applications are due by Friday, August 21. Applicants are encouraged to attend the Youth Leadership Conference


SAPCA is Hiring a Social Media Intern


SAPCA is hiring one paid social media intern for the 2015-2016 school year. The selected candidate will generate content related to substance abuse prevention and should expect to commit up to 4 hours a week. Applications are available on preventitalexandria.org; any completed applications or questions related to this opportunity should be sent to noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov.  Applications are due by Friday, August 21. 

Click here to apply.


Check out Act for Alexandria's Community Calendar for fun events!


A review of 80 studies of medical marijuana concludes it may be useful for treating certain conditions, but the evidence is weak in supporting the drug's use for many others. The researchers said any benefits of medical marijuana must be weighed against side effects including nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, sleepiness and euphoria.

The study found moderate-quality evidence to support medical marijuana's use for chronic pain and muscle spasms, Reuters reports. The researchers said there was only low-quality evidence supporting medical marijuana's use in treating nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, sleep disorders, HIV-related weight loss and Tourette's syndrome. The review appears in JAMA.

A second review published in the same journal concluded there is high-quality evidence supporting the use of marijuana in people with chronic pain, nerve pain and muscle problems related to multiple sclerosis.

An increasing number of children under age 6 are being exposed to marijuana, according to a new study. Three-quarters of cases involve children who ingest the drug in the form of brownies, cookies and other foods containing marijuana.


Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio investigated marijuana exposures among children under age 6 in the United States using data from the National Poison Data System. They report 18.5 percent of exposures required admission to a health care facility. More than 75 percent of cases involved children under the age of 3, Time reports. Some children in the study experienced coma, decreased breathing or seizures. Levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can be especially high in marijuana food products, the researchers noted.

Between 2006 and 2013, they found a 147.5 percent increase in marijuana exposure in children under age 6. The exposure rate jumped 610 percent in states where marijuana was legalized for medical purposes before 2000. While the total number of reported exposure cases between 2000 and 2013 was not large-1,969 children-the quick rise in the rate of exposure is a cause for concern, the researchers wrote in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.


The researchers recommend that packaging for commercially available marijuana products be child-resistant and not see-through. Marijuana products in households should be kept up, away and out of sight of children, preferably in a locked cabinet, they said. 

The rate of underage drinking dropped 6.1 percent from 2002 to 2013, according to a new government report. Binge drinking among U.S. residents ages 12 through 20 also declined, by 5.1 percent, USA Today reports.

In 2013, the study found 22.7 percent of young people said they had an alcoholic drink in the past month. In contrast, 16.9 percent of 12- to 20-year-olds used tobacco and 13.6 percent used illicit drugs, according to the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Approximately 5.4 million (14.2 percent) of young people in this age group said they were current binge drinkers. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days, SAMHSA notes. In 2002, just under 20 percent of young people said they were binge drinkers.

The agency notes underage drinking increases the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder later in life and increases the likelihood of driving after drinking too much at some point in their lives. 

Sixty percent of adults say they want a complete ban on powdered alcohol in their state, while 84 percent want a ban on online sales of the product, according to a new national poll.


The poll also found 85 percent of adults believe marketing for powdered alcohol should not be allowed on social networking sites popular among youth, HealthDay reports. Powdered alcohol was approved by a government agency in March. The product, called "Palcohol," could arrive in stores this summer. Lipsmark, the company that makes Palcohol, plans to sell four powdered products: cosmopolitan, margarita, a vodka and a rum, the article notes. The product will be sold in foil pouches that can be used as a glass. A person pours in five ounces of water, zips up the bag and shakes it until the powder dissolves.

Several states, including Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont, have banned the use/sale of powdered alcohol, and a number of other states are considering similar legislation.

The poll found 90 percent of adults are concerned that powdered alcohol will be misused by those younger than 21, while 85 percent worry powdered alcohol will increase alcohol use among that age group. In addition, 81 percent are concerned that it will be easy for people younger than 21 to buy powdered alcohol.



Noraine Buttar, MPH
421 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.3670 (office)
703.887.8812 (mobile)