Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
View our videos on YouTube  
Quick Links...


SAPCA Members, 


As the school year comes to a close, please talk to the youth in your life about alcohol and other drugs. Check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's new website and campaign, "Talk. They Hear You."


The Campaign focuses on:

  • Increasing parents' awareness of the prevalence and risk of underage drinking;
  • Equipping parents with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to prevent underage drinking; and
  • Increasing parents' actions to prevent underage drinking.

Help youth have a fun and safe summer! 




* SAPCA Celebrates National Prevention Week at Boys and Girls Club (5/14)
* wreckED Presented to Health Classes (5/20, 21)
* Stop Urban Outfitters From Selling Products that Promote Prescription Drug Abuse
*Board Meeting (6/12)
* Youth Arts Festival (6/8)
* Violence and its Impact on Children: How Do We Respond? (6/13)
* The Coalition Touch: Strategies to Promote CDC's National Tips From Former Smokers Campaign in Local Communities (6/13)
* Inhaling Alcohol: Dangerous Trend, Expert Says
* People Who Drink to Improve Mood More Likely to Become Alcohol-Dependent
* Parents Should Talk With Children About Alcohol Early, Government Says
* Strong Connection With Parents Reduces Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Study
* Government Urges States to Lower Allowable Blood-Alcohol Levels for Drivers


SAPCA Celebrates National Prevention Week at Boys and Girls Club (5/14)
BG Prevention Day Activities    
SAPCA joined the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, the Teen Wellness Center, and the Gang Prevention Task Force to celebrate National Prevention Week at theBoys and Girls Club in Alexandria. Elementary and middle school youth visited several rooms where they were able to take quizzes about sex and drugs, watch videos about substance abuse and gang violence and win prizes by correctly answering questions about risky behaviors.
wreckED Presented to Health Classes (5/20, 21)

Shelly Morgan and Noraine Buttar presented wreckED to over fifty students in TC Williams health classes. The Partnership at Drugfree.org's wreckED is a program that challenges teens to think more about their own and their friends' behavior regarding alcohol and other drugs, and to consider the consequences of getting involved.


If you work with youth and would like to host a wreckED presentation, contact Noraine at noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov.


Stop Urban Outfitters From Selling Products that Promote Prescription Drug Abuse


Urban Outfitters, the national retail store popular with teens, is currently selling pint glasses, flasks and shot glasses made to look like prescription pill bottles. These products make light of prescription drug misuse and abuse, a dangerous behavior that is responsible for more deaths in the United States each year than heroin and cocaine combined. Medicine abuse has increased 33 percent over the past five years with one in four teens having misused or abused a prescription drug in their lifetime. Combined with alcohol, the misuse and abuse of prescription medications can be especially dangerous, making the Urban Outfitter Rx pint and shot glasses and flasks even more disturbing.


As recent research from The Partnership at Drugfree.org shows, teens and parents alike do not understand the health risks associated with the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. In fact, more than a quarter of teens mistakenly believe that misusing and abusing prescription drugs is safer than using street drugs.


Tongue-in-cheek products that normalize and promote prescription drug abuse only serve to reinforce the misperception about the dangers associated with abusing medicine and put more teens at risk.


Ask Urban Outfitters to remove these products from their stores and website immediately.



Send an e-mail to:

Richard A. Hayne; CEO & Chairman

Write a letter:

Urban Outfitters, Inc.
5000 South Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19112-1495

Sign this Facebook Causes petition:



Board Meeting (6/12) 


Wednesday, June 12, 6-7:30 p.m., 720 North Saint Asaph St., RM 315. 


Youth Arts Festival (6/8) 


This festival will showcase the talents of all youth around the City. It is free of charge and will include artists, music, entertainment, and food vendors.


The festival will take place on Saturday, June 8, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at George Washington Middle School. For more information contact Jason Ellis at jellis@arha.com.

Violence and its Impact on Children: How Do We Respond? (6/13) 


Dr. Giordana De Altin Popiolek, a clinical psychologist with the Department of Community and Human Services, who has worked with children and adolescents, will present information on the impact of violence on children and how to respond when they have questions or concerns about a violent event.


The event will take place on Thursday, June 13, 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 905 Wythe Street.


For more information contact Friends of the Mental Health Center at friendsofamhc@gmail.com.


The Coalition Touch: Strategies to Promote CDC's National Tips from Former Smokers Campaign in Local Communities (6/13)


Moderated by CADCA's Tobacco Programs Manager, Alicia D. Smith, MPH, the webinar will assist coalitions interested in promoting and implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Tips From Former Smokers Campaign in your community.


The webinar will take place on Thursday, June 13 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Click here to register.


Inhaling Alcohol: Dangerous Trend, Expert Says  


Some college students are experimenting with inhaling alcohol by pouring it over dry ice and "smoking" the vapors, according to an expert who says the practice is dangerous.


Young adults are inhaling alcohol to get high without ingesting calories, the Daily News reports. Dr. Harris Stratyner, Regional Clinical Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers in New York, told the newspaper, "When you inhale alcohol, it goes directly into the lungs and circumnavigates the liver. The liver is what metabolizes alcohol, but when you inhale it, it goes directly from the lungs to the brain." The practice is more likely to lead to deadly alcohol poisoning than drinking liquor, he said. Inhaling alcohol vapors can dry out the nasal passages and mouth, making a person more susceptible to infection, Stratyner added.


Inhaling alcohol has become more popular in the past year and a half, Stratyner said. "This is a stupid, highly dangerous thing to do. The fact that youngsters in particular can purchase the equipment for a relatively cheap price...this has to be made illegal."


People Who Drink to Improve Mood More Likely to Become Alcohol-Dependent 


People who drink to improve their mood are three times more likely to become dependent on alcohol, compared with those who don't use alcohol to feel better or stay calm, new research suggests.

Among people with an increased risk of alcohol dependence, those who drink to improve their mood are less likely to become sober several years later, compared with people who don't drink to ease painful emotions, the Los Angeles Times reports.


One new study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, included people who were at increased risk of alcoholism, who were asked whether they drank to improve their mood or reduce tension. They were interviewed again several years later, to determine whether they had become, or stayed, alcohol-dependent. "Drinking to self-medicate mood symptoms may be a potential target for prevention and early intervention efforts aimed at reducing the occurrence of alcohol dependence," the researchers wrote.


A second study, published in the same journal, used brain scanners in 45 people with alcoholism at an inpatient treatment program, while they were in the first four to eight weeks of a 12-step program. They were asked to think about situations when they were relaxed, and then to imagine highly stressful situations or those associated with heavy drinking.


Patients who would later relapse were more likely than those who did not return to drinking to show low activity in regions of the brain associated with regulation of mood, emotional arousal and cognitive control when they thought about stressful situations or drinking-related scenarios. When they were relaxed, they showed increased activity in these brain regions.



Parents should start talking with their children about the dangers of drinking as early as age 9, according to a new government campaign. Children start to think more positively about alcohol between ages 9 and 13, research shows.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which launched the campaign, says about 10 percent of 12-year-olds have tried alcohol, and half of 15-year-olds have done so.


Many teens listen to their parents' advice on drinking. In one study, 80 percent of teens said their parents were the largest influence on their decision whether or not to drink, NPR reports.


The "Talk. They Hear You" campaign includes a toolkit with templates for a parent-child pledge, and scripts for talking with children about sensitive subjects, such as why it's permissible for parents to drink. Parents are provided with suggested texts they can send, such as, "Have fun tonight. Remember, alcohol can lead you 2 say things and do things u wish u hadn't." The campaign gives parents advice on topics including never serving alcohol to teens at home, and telling teens they shouldn't drink at parties or get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.



Strong connections with parents who advise against drug use reduce teens' risk of abusing prescription drugs, a new study finds. Positive connections with teachers and schools also reduce the risk.

Students who had connections with peers who disapproved of substance abuse also had a decreased chance of abusing prescription medications, University of Cincinnati researchers found. They studied more than 54,000 teens in grades 7 through 12, and found 13.7 percent reported using prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription, Science Daily reports.


Having relationships with peers who used alcohol, tobacco and marijuana increased the risk of nonmedical prescription drug use, the study found.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Tuesday recommended states lower allowable blood-alcohol levels for drivers, from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. The NTSB said thousands of people are killed or injured each year by drivers who are not legally drunk, but who are still impaired, The New York Times reports. Currently about 10,000 people die in alcohol-related car crashes each year.


A person with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 percent is 38 percent more likely to be involved in a crash, compared with someone who has not been drinking, according to the NTSB. A person with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level is 169 percent more likely to be involved in an accident.


The board made a number of other recommendations, such as requiring everyone convicted of drunk driving to put a Breathalyzer interlock device in their car.



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