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SAPCA Members,  


Join the newly formed marijuana workgroup! Marijuana usage rates are high in Alexandria and rising nationally. Help reverse the trend. Contact me at to get involved.





* Community Chat Group Held at Ruby Tucker (9/20)
* Alcohol and Drug Recovery Showcase Draws Packed House at Metro Stage (9/26)
* GWMS Students and Their Parents Turn Out for COC Dinner (10/25)
*Prescription Drug Take Back Day a Success
* SAPCA's Upcoming Meetings
* Oppose the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011
* Community of Concern Dinner at Minnie Howard (11/10)
* GWMS Parent Chat Group (11/17)
* Pact 360 - Community Education Programs
* Reaching the American Teenager During National Drug Facts Chat Week
* Marijuana Use By Drivers Linked with Increased Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes
* Marijuana use on the Rise, National Survey Finds
* More Than 500 College Campuses are Smoke Free
* Children Living with Smokers Miss More School Due to Illness


TC Females Participate in ONDCP "Tag-It" Event (10/13)

TC Williams females students participated in a "Tag-It" activity with the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Deputy Directors Benjamin Tucker and David Mineta. The teens talked about the positive influences in their life that kept them drug free. Participants were: Nancy Martinez, Yasmin Faruki, Chanyia Hughes, Kinesha Beafore, Olga Alvarado, Kaylin Flores, Brooke Ninman, Emma Beall and Yasmin Faruki. Directors Mineta and Tucker were impressed with the teens' goals and expectations for their futures.

Project Sticker Shock Kicks Off with a Bang  (10/22)



On October 22, teams of youth and adults from the City of Alexandria "shocked" purchasers of alcohol by placing bright red warning stickers on multi-packs of beer, wine coolers and other alcohol products in Alexandria stores. The stickers contain warnings about the serious penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors. In Virginia, providing alcohol to a minor is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a punishment of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail, or both. In addition, to these penalties, a person found guilty of this offense shall have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of not more than one year. Check out coverage on Channel 7, and in the Alexandria News and Del Ray Patch!  

GWMS Students and Their Parents Turn Out for COC Dinner (10/25)


SAPCA partnered with the George Washington Middle School PTA and administration to host the second Community of Concern Dinner. Over 100 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. One student commented, "The most useful thing that we did was have group discussions where we could see the parent and child point of view." A parent said the information they found most useful was, "...learning about the energy drinks and how companies are marketing alcoholic drinks to look fun."


The Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff's Office collected 148 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at the third National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.


On Saturday, October 29, from 10am to 2 pm, the two Alexandria law enforcement agencies partnered with SAPCA and collected potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs and other medications at the police station, a fire station, and the Masonic Temple. Deputy Director of State, Local and Tribal Affairs for ONDCP, Benjamin B. Tucker and Associate Deputy Director, Jack Claypoole visited the collection sites throughout the City.   


This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. 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.


SAPCA Board Meetings:


Tuesday,  November 15, 6-7:30pm, CSB, 720 North Saint Asaph St, 4th floor


Thursday, December 1, 6-7:30pm, CSB


Tell FTC to Kill the Deal with Four Loko - Deadline Extended to to Overwhelming Response - (12/2)


Community of Concern Dinner at Minnie Howard (11/10)

Minnie Howard students and their parents are invited to a Community of Concern Dinner on Thursday November 10, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the cafeteria. The evening will be one of dialogue and education relating to underage drinking prevention. Contact Noraine Buttar at or 703-746-3670 to register. Click here for the invite letter in English and here for Spanish.

GWMS Parent Chat Group (11/17)

George Washington Middle School parents are invited to attend another Parent Leadership Chat Group on November 17 at Beth and Tim Lovain's house, 2606 Davis Avenue. Participating parents will connect with other parents who care about underage drinking and marijuana  prevention, learn new information about , and share challenges and ideas for preventing underage drinking and marijuana usage. They will receive practical tips to use at home and share with other parents.  Contact Beth at 703-549-1441 or to register.


Pact360 - Community Education Programs  


PACT360 contains five key programs - Meth360�, Parents360, Youth360, Latino360 and Padres360 - and is designed to complement and not supplant existing local prevention efforts. All five programs can be customized with local statistics, real-person stories and events and first-hand experiences of the presenters, to reflect the unique needs and issues of the community. This multi-dimensional approach highlights the powerful impact local efforts can have on individual families and communities.

One of the programs, Parents360 (Parents: You Matter) is a community education program that engages parents through an awareness-building presentation, called Parents: You Matter. The presentation provides parents and other caring adults with valuable insights into why kids use, how parents can start the dialogue, and what steps to take if they suspect or know their child is using. It underscores the need for parents to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and to be the go-to source when their children have questions.


To view programs go to



This week, the National Institute of Drug Abuse is sponsoring another Drug Facts Chat Week - a time for teens to get their questions about drugs and alcohol answered by scientists.


After a decade-long decline in teen drug use, the overall rates appear to have stabilized and have even started to creep upward for some drugs of abuse. The 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey shows significant increases in daily marijuana use across all three grades surveyed (8th, 10th and 12th). Abuse of prescription medications remains unacceptably high for teens; six of the top 10 illicit drugs abused by 12th-graders in the past year were prescribed or purchased over the counter.


To reach more teens with their messages NIDA hold live web chats so teens can seek unbiased, factual answers to their questions. It is important for teens to see their community embrace healthy living messages. Check out the questions and answers posted during National Drug Facts Chat Day on November 1. Take the the National Drug IQ Challenge with your child or a teen in your life!


Drivers who test positive for marijuana or who drive within three hours of using marijuana are more than twice as likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes compared with those who don't use the drug, according to a new review of studies. Science Daily reports researchers at Columbia University in New York combined the results of nine studies, and found the greater the amount of marijuana compounds in a person's urine, the greater the risk of a car crash. The study also found more frequent self-reported marijuana use was associated with a greater risk of a motor vehicle accident. The study found 28 percent of drivers who died in an accident, and more than 11 percent of drivers in general, tested positive for non-alcohol drugs.


A new study finds a program designed to assist communities in preventing unhealthy behaviors in teens is effective in reducing adolescent smoking and drinking. The study found tenth graders in towns that used the program, called "Communities That Care," were less likely to try drinking or smoking, compared with teens in communities not using the program. The program was also effective in reducing delinquent behavior including stealing, fights and vandalism, HealthDay reports.


The White House and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have joined forces to create a new campaign against drugged driving. The campaign calls on parents to become more aware of the consequences of teenagers driving under the influence of drugs, CNN reports.


The new campaign includes the Drugged Driving Toolkit, which provides advice for parents of teenage drivers, examples of community activities to raise public awareness of drugged driving, and tips to help adolescents avoid succumbing to peer pressure to take drugs.


Are Today's Parents Going Too Soft on Kids Using Marijuana? 


Roughly one in 10 people who try marijuana get addicted, and young users are more vulnerable than older ones, says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Nobody knows why some people get addicted and others don't - and that's why teens should stay away from marijuana, both Volkow and Riley say.


But daily marijuana use among young adults is at its highest levels since 1991. A national survey released last month shows that 17 million Americans - mostly teens or young adults - used pot in 2010. About 40% of those used it on 20 or more days in the past month, up from 36.7% in 2009. There's no good science yet to explain why pot use is rising, but Volkow blames medical marijuana. Hearing about medicinal benefits makes people think it must not be harmful, she says.


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