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SAPCA Members, 


Come out for the Sticker Shock campaign kick-off on Saturday October 27 at 10am at 720 N Saint Asaph St. Support our youth volunteers as they place "STOP" stickers on multi-packs of alcohol to discourage adults from purchasing alcohol for minors. T-shirts will be provided! 

 Sticker Shock sticker




* Recovery Month Celebration a Success (9/12)
* SAPCA Attends Drug Free Kids Awards Dinner (9/25)
* Prescription Drug Take Back Day Held (9/29)
* Help Get Capital One to Pull Helium Huffing Commercial
* Celebrate the Power of Prevention at National Above the Influence Day During National Substance Abuse Prevention Month (10/18)
* Sticker Shock Kick-Off (10/27)
* Bullying Prevention Basics (10/23)
* Debunking Marijuana Myths (10/25)
* Red Ribbon Week (10/21-10/27)
* Facts on the Emerging Science on the Effects of Marijuana
* OJJDP Bulletin Examines Effects and Consequences of Underage Drinking
* National Survey Shows Decline in Prescription Drug Abuse Among Young Adults
* The Medicine Abuse Project Launched
* The "War on Drugs" Withdrawal: Administration Focusing on Prevention


Recovery Month Celebration a Success (9/12)


On September 12, community partners in Northern Virginia came together, at the Lee Center in Alexandria Virginia, to celebrate Recovery Month by showcasing people in recovery and local talents; reducing stigma and educating the public. SAPCA, Alexandria's Mental Health HOPE Campaign, Friends of the Alexandria Mental Health Center, the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services and Virginia's Substance Abuse Addiction Recovery Alliance sponsored the celebration. Kerry Donley, Alexandria Vice-Mayor, kicked off the event by speaking about the importance of recovery month. Key note speaker, David Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction, Office of National Drug Control Policy, read President Obama's Recovery Month Proclamation, and emphasized his commitment to supporting recovery.


An audience of over 250 youth and adults heard from speakers in recovery who described their battle with alcohol and drug addiction, and the many different ways they entered recovery. Those in recovery celebrated with family and friends as they enjoyed barbecue, festivities, and live music. They visited vendor tables and learned how they could register to vote after incarceration; help others in recovery, and support prevention and treatment.

SROs Discuss Their Roles at SAPCA Quarterly Meeting (9/17)


At the September 17 quarterly meeting  Sergeant Courtney Ballantine, School Resource Unit Supervisor and Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator, and Officer Jill Lingle spoke about the role of SROs in the City schools, including how they work with students and also assist in the enforcement of school disciplinary policies. They explianed why police officers are assigned to the schools, what their typical day is like and what happens if a youth is caught violating the law and using or selling drugs or alcohol at school.


Check out the story in the Alexandria Gazette!


CADCA Awards Dinner with David Mineta
SAPCA Members celebrate with David Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction, Office of National Drug Control Policy


It was a night celebrating "Real Lives, Real Change" at CADCA's 14th annual Drug-Free Kids Campaign Awards dinner in Washington, D.C. as a packed ballroom of participants heard from honorees, dignitaries, and youth leaders who left the audience inspired to continue to give of their time, talent, and treasure to prevent youth substance abuse. CADCA's annual Drug-Free Kids Campaign Awards Dinner recognizes leaders and corporations who are supporting and educating the community about substance abuse and its impact on young people.

Two former National Youth Leadership Initiative participants- Khiree Smith, now the lead NYLI youth trainer and Teddy McCullough, CADCA's 2012 Outstanding Youth of the Year - provided remarks that brought the audience to its feet, and many to tears, as each young man described how CADCA changed their own path, and in turn, is helping them change the lives of other youth. 


The Alexandria Police Department, Sheriff's Office and SAPCA teamed with the Drug Enforcement Administration to collect 165 pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 29, residents dropped off their potentially dangerous prescriptions at police headquarters on Wheeler Avenue and in the breezeway next to the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue. The service was free and anonymous.


This initiative addressed 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, according to Alexandria's police department. 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'S Upcoming Meetings

Board Meeting and Session with Evaluator 


Thursday, October 25, 6-9:30 p.m., 720 North Saint Asaph St.


Help Get Capital One to Pull Helium Huffing  Commercial 
Capital One is taking its Visigoth characters from the third century to the 21st century with its airing of a commercial featuring intentional helium huffing. And the practice shouldn't be funny in either century, according to the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) who are saying, "enough with the huffing, already." The NIPC, based in Chattanooga, Tenn., has written to the financial services company based in McLean, Va. to ask them to pull the commercial. Harvey Weiss, NIPC's long-time coalition executive director, is asking other coalitions to contact the company, as well.

The "Spark" credit card commercial is airing on many different channels. You can view it online here.

Helium is an inert gas that displaces oxygen in the body and can cause disorientation, blackouts and even death. In Florida, nine people died huffing helium in 2010, according to the Florida Medical Examiners' Annual Report. 


In the past, the coalition has challenged other corporations for its irresponsible ads depicting huffing as a laughing matter such as Hallmark and the Mars Chocolate company. In both cases, Weiss said, the coalition received a personal letter apologizing for the commercials and the commercials were pulled.With the credit card commercial, there has been no indication by Capital One to stop airing the commercial. "Eventually, I received a response that the ad's intent was to be funny. Further, Capital One's director of public relations campaigns assured me that their advertising team is taking our concerns into consideration," Weiss said.

To help with NIPC's effort to educate and advocate for no more helium huffing commercials, contact Capital One financial services, and ask them to stop airing this Visigothian helium huffing ad. At Capital One, you can contact:


Tatiana Stead, Vice President, Corporate Communications: 



Chris O'Neill, Director, Digital & Public Relations Campaigns: 



Julie Rakes, Capital One Financial Corporation: 





Celebrate the Power of Prevention at National "Above the Influence" Day during National Substance Abuse Prevention Month (10/18)


The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is sponsoring the first National "Above the Influence" Day on October 18 to celebrate youth who avoid pressure to use drugs and alcohol. A toolkit and other free resources are available online.


This is an opportunity for youth and local youth-serving partners to demonstrate the power of staying above the negative influences that can lead to youth substance use. ATI Day will reinforce the central role that this youth-led campaign continues to play in substance abuse prevention on the local, state, and national levels. 


SAPCA will facilitate a "Be It" activity with youth at TC Williams enrolled in the ROTC program. If you want SAPCA to host an activity with your youth group, contact Noraine at noraine.buttar@alexandriava.gov.

Sticker Shock Kick-Off (10/27)


SAPCA's Sticker Shock campaign will kick-off with a press conference at  720 North Saint Asaph St., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 27.  Speakers will include William D. Euille, Alexandria Mayor; Chief Earl Cook, Alexandria Police Department and Debbie Sauseville, who lost her daughter to drunk driving. Derek Bibbs and Nancy Martinez, SAPCA youth members will serve as emcees. 


During the campaign, teams of youth and adults will visit stores in Alexandria to place "warning" stickers on multi-packs of beer, wine coolers and other alcoholic products, highlighting the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors. 



Bullying Prevention Basics 


Tuesday, October 23, 6 - 8 p.m., Location TBD.


The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership is hosting the training for mentors, tutors, helpers, staff members and others. To sign up for the training, contact Erin Dawson at erin.dawson@alexandriava.gov.


Debunking Marijuana Myths (10/25)


During the hour-long program, Debunking Marijuana Myths, science, prevention, and law enforcement experts will talk about some common myths and provide the facts. They will travel to Massachusetts where ballot initiatives have changed views about marijuana in the state and see how coalitions have united to get the facts out to the public.


Key concepts will include: learning how marijuana impacts brain development, hearing why prevention experts believe marijuana in a smoked form is not medicine and discussing the notion of taxing marijuana much like tobacco and alcohol.


This program will take place on October 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. Register here.



Red Ribbon Week (10/21-10/27)


Red Ribbon Week is the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of Americans during the last full week of October every year. The Red Ribbon Campaign was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug-free America.


SAPCA encourages member organizations to participate. Check out guides from the National Family Partnership and Prevention Partners for suggestions.

Facts on the Emerging Science on the Effects of Marijuana 


Marijuana is one of the most hotly debated drugs of our time, according to Kevin Sabet, PhD, Policy Consultant and Assistant Professor, University of Florida. According to Dr. Sabet, we can say with some certainty that marijuana use is significantly linked with addiction, heart and lung complications, mental illness, car crashes, IQ loss and poor school outcomes, poor quality of life outcomes and poor job performance.


Dr. Sabet outlines these facts in his white paper.

OJJDP Bulletin Examines Effects and Consequences of Underage Drinking


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released, "Effects and Consequences of Underage Drinking." The bulletin presents findings from a literature review that investigated how underage drinking can affect a youth's physical, emotional, and neurological health. It also discusses the personal, legal, and economic consequences of underage drinking.


The bulletin is part of OJJDP's underage drinking bulletin series, which underscores the dangers of underage drinking and provides guidelines for communities developing treatment and prevention programs.


New survey results released last week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate a downturn in prescription drug abuse among young adults in the United States.


According to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of people aged 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past month declined 14 percent - from 2.0 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2011. Although non-medical use of prescription drugs remained unchanged among youth aged 12 to 17 and adults aged 26 or older, the decrease among young adults is a promising sign that we are making inroads into the prescription drug abuse epidemic.



The Medicine Abuse Project is a unifying campaign that brings together families, communities, industry, health care professionals, educators, law enforcement and government officials to curb teen medicine abuse, and ultimately save lives. By working together, The Medicine Abuse Project aims to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine within five years.


The Medicine Abuse Project launched during the week of September 23-29, 2012 with Phase I of the campaign, which raises awareness about the issue and asks stakeholders to take the Pledge to help stop teen medicine abuse at MedicineAbuseProject.org.


America has been hooked on the fight against drugs for decades. It cost more than $1 trillion dollars. There is a shift underway to revolutionize how America combats its drug problem. CNN's John Zarrella  is OutFront with an in-depth look at how one of the least talked about campaign issues - America's addictions - has ties to our number one concern: the economy.


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