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


SAPCA Members, 


Celebrate National Prevention Week May 12 through 18! National Prevention Week is a Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Adminstration (SAMSHA) supported annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.



National Prevention Week 2013 Themes

Sunday, May 12

Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use (New for 2013!)

Monday, May 13

Prevention of Underage Drinking

Tuesday, May 14

Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use

Wednesday, May 15

Prevention of Alcohol Abuse

Thursday, May 16

Suicide Prevention

Friday, May 17

Promotion of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being


Check out the "I Choose" project. All you have to do is take a photograph of yourself holding a sign with your personal message about why substance abuse prevention or mental health is important to you. SAMHSA will post your photo in the "I Choose" gallery.


Encourage the youth in your life to visit the Boys & Girls Club in Alexandria and participate in fun risky behavior prevention activities on Tuesday, May 14! 




* SAPCA Celebrates Alcohol Awareness Month at TC Williams
* wreckED Presented to International Academy Classes at TC Williams (4/18)
* Risky Behavior Presentations at FACE Centers
* Kick Butts Day Youth Honored at City Hall (4/23)
* Another Successful Prescription Drug Take Back Day (4/27)
* Stop Urban Outfitters From Selling Products that Promote Prescription Drug Abuse
* Children's Mental Health Awareness Fun Fair (5/11)
* Boys & Girls Club (5/14)
* Gang Prevention Community Task Force Meeting (5/15)
* Children & Youth Mental Health Forum (5/18)
* ACAP Quarterly Meeting (5/23)
* High School: A Survivior's Manual (5/16)
* 2013 National Drug Control Strategy Released
* Taking Marijuana in a Pill May Be Better for Pain Relief Than Smoking It: Study
* Marijuana Legalization Won't Solve Drug Problem: Kerlikowske
* One-Fourth of Teens Have Misused or Abused Prescription Drugs at Least Once: Study
* 23% of Teens Surveyed Admit to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs


SAPCA Celebrates Alcohol Awareness Month at TC Williams

Alcohol Awareness Month at TC 

SAPCA Club members invited TC students to spin the prize wheel at lunch times during the month of April. Over 500 students visited the table to learn about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs. Many students answered their question correctly and received cool prizes!

wreckED Presented to International Academy Classes at TC Williams (4/18)

Shelly Morgan and Noraine Buttar presented wreckED to over fifty International Academy students at TC Williams. The Partnership at'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. SAPCA will present wreckED to the remaining International Academy classes during the month of May.


If you work with youth and would like to host a wreckED presentation, contact Noraine at

Risky Behavior Presentations at FACE Centers (4/22-4/25)

Risky Behavior Presentation Audience at FACE Center 

SAPCA, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, and the Gang Prevention Task Force presented, "It's Never Too Early and Never Too Late to Talk to Your Kids" to over forty parents at FACE Centers throughout Alexandria. Parents learned how to talk to their kids about tough subjects such as drugs, sex, and violence and specific techniques they could use to monitor their children. Parents asked, "How do you get your kids to talk to you if they say they don't want too talk?"


If you would like to host a presentation, contact Noraine at

Kick Butts Day Youth Honored at City Hall (4/23)

Youth honored at City Hall_Kick Butts Day  


SAPCA Club and Building Better Futures youth were honored at City Hall for their work during Kick Butts Day on March 20. The youth conducted surveys on alcohol and tobacco advertising in over 60 stores in Alexandria. Mayor Euille congratulated the youth on their hard work and encouraged them to continue their efforts to prevent substance use and abuse among their peers.


Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 2013  


The Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff's Office, in collaboration with SAPCA, collected 196 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at the sixth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last fall, we collected 165 pounds of prescription drugs for destruction in our fifth take back initiative.


Over 5000 collections sites nationwide participated in the sixth take back day program this past Saturday and over 3,150 pounds were collected in the Northern Virginia area alone. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.   


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 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:


Children's Mental Health Awareness Fun Fair (5/11) 


Saturday, May 11, 1 - 5 p.m., Lot at Tenants and Workers United, 3801 Mount Vernon Ave.


This is a celebration of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day hosted by the Department of Community and Human Services Center for Children and Families in partnership with Tenants and Workers United and the Center for Alexandria's Children. SAPCA will share a table with ACAP.


Boys & Girls Club (5/14) 


Tuesday May 14, 3-6 p.m., Boys & Girls Club, 401 N. Payne St. Alexandria VA


SAPCA has partnered with ACAP to sponsor substance abuse and teen pregnancy prevention activities at the Boys and Girls Club in Old Town. Boys and Girls Club youth will rotate in groups from room to room to participate in a number of activities including the wreckED video at



Gang Prevention Community Task Force Meeting (5/15) 


The Task Force will meet on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., in the Council Workroom at City Hall, 301 King Street. 

Children & Youth Mental Health Forum (5/18) 


Saturday, May 18, Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.


Hear an overview of new mental health legislation, learn from panel discussions on Mental Health First Aid for Youth, and discover what mental health sevices are available for children at local Community Services Boards

ACAP Quarterly Meeting (5/23) 


The Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy will meet on Thursday, May 23, 4 - 5:30 p.m., location at the Durant Center, 1605 Cameron St. Contact Lisette Torres at for more information.


High School: A Survivor's Manual (5/16) 


This year Peers Influence Peers Partnership XIX: "High School: A Survivor's Manual" is an hour-long documentary that addresses the issues of bullying, perscription drug misuse, eating disorders and teenage depression. Teens created this video for their peers and it will get them talking and thinking.


This broadcast will air on May 16, 1 to 2 p.m. Click here to register.


2013 National Drug Control Strategy Released


The new strategy, a science-driven plan for drug policy reform in America was released on April 24. This 21st century drug policy outlines a series of evidence-based reforms that address our Nation's drug problem as not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern.

The 2013 Strategy emphasizes prevention and treatment programs over incarceration, by replacing "tough on crime" approaches with "smart on crime" approaches, and by making access to treatment a reality for millions of Americans.  In fact, the President's FY 2014 budget requests $1.5 billion more for treatment and prevention programs compared to FY 2012 - the largest requested increase in at least two decades.


A drug that contains the active ingredient of marijuana may be more effective for pain relief than the smoked form of the drug, a new study suggests. Researchers at Columbia University in New York also found the pill, dronabinol, created less of a high than smoked marijuana.


Dronabinol, which contains THC, appeared to provide longer-lasting pain relief, HealthDay reports. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat nausea and appetite loss associated with cancer and AIDS.


Legalizing marijuana will not solve the country's drug problem, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, said Wednesday.


Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, Kerlikowske said state laws in Colorado and Washington that have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana present complex questions, UPI reports.


"The Justice Department's responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged," he said. "Neither a state nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress, nor should we lose sight of the fundamental fact that using marijuana has public health consequences, and the most responsible public policy is one that restricts its availability and discourages its use."


The Obama Administration has committed more than $10 billion to drug education programs and support for expanding access to drug addiction treatment, he told reporters.


One-fourth of teens have misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, a 33 percent increase over the last five years, a new study finds. One in eight teens say they have taken Ritalin or Adderall when it was not prescribed for them, according to the study by The Partnership at and the MetLife Foundation.


The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) found parents and caregivers have lax attitudes and beliefs about teen medicine abuse. Almost one-third of parents say they believe prescription stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall, used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can improve a teen's academic performance, even if the young person does not have ADHD.


Of teens who said they abused prescription medications, 20 percent did so before age 14. One-third of teens say they believe "it's okay to use prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them to deal with an injury, illness or physical pain." The study found 27 percent incorrectly believe that misusing and abusing prescription drugs is safer than using street drugs.


Parents are much more likely to talk to teens about marijuana or alcohol than prescription drugs. Teens reported that during the last conversation they had with their parents about substance abuse, only 16 percent said they discussed the misuse or abuse of prescription painkillers, and 14 percent discussed any type of prescription drug. In contrast, 81 percent said they have discussed marijuana and 80 percent have discussed alcohol.


A new survey of teens finds 23 percent admit they have driven under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs or marijuana. Almost 20 percent of teens who drink and drive say alcohol improves their driving, while 34 percent say the same about marijuana.


Teens are more likely to drink when they are less heavily supervised, according to the survey by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and insurance company Liberty Mutual. The survey included 1,708 high school students in grades 11 and 12, USA Today reports.


The survey found 11 percent of teens admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the summer in general; 8 percent on July 4th; 6 percent on prom night; and 5 percent to celebrate graduation.


Earlier this year, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a report stating the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles increased from 202 to 240 in the first six months of 2012-a 19 percent jump from same period the previous year.


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