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SAPCA Members,  

Mark your calendars for three upcoming events!


Prescription Drug Take Back Day, September 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m, Del Ray Pharmacy, 2204, Mt Vernon Ave; Alexandria Police Department, 3600 Wheeler Ave, First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. 


Marijuana Harmless? Thing Again. Presentation in Spanish - October 1, 7 p.m. Wakefield High School, 1825 Dinwiddie St. Arlington.


Sticker Shock Kick-Off, October 25, 10 a.m., 720 North Saint Asaph St.





* SAPCA and ACAP Host Successful Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference
* National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (9/27)
* Marijuana Presentation in Spanish (10/1)
* Project Sticker Shock Kick-Off (10/25)
* ACAP Quarterly Meeting (9/23)
* Impact 2014: Innovation+Philanthropy (10/1)
* Alexandria Fire Department Youth Explorer Program (Year-Round)
* Medical Marijuana Industry Faces Off Against Advocates for Full Legalization
* Washington Post Says D.C. Voters Should Reject the Rush to Legalize Marijuana


SAPCA and ACAP Host Successful Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference




SAPCA and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) hosted the third annual Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference on August 18-20. Over 30 youth participated in workshops about leadership, working as a team, conflict resolution, social media, public speaking, resume writing, and goal setting. The theme of this year's conference was "Becoming a Community Change-maker" and on the final day of the conference, youth participated in a networking session where they had the opportunity to meet community leaders to discuss volunteer and leadership opportunities. Many of the youth commented positively on their experience at the conference.


Check out the pictures on our Facebook page.



National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (9/27)


SAPCA is partnering with local law enforcement for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday September 27,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drop off locations are the Alexandria Police Department, 3600 Wheeler Avenue; the Del Ray Pharmacy, 2204 Mount Vernon Ave and First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. Please plan to drop off your unused prescription drugs!

Project Sticker Shock Kick Off (10/25)



Click here to volunteer.


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. 


Click here to view photos from last year's event.


ACAP Quarterly Meeting (9/23)


ACAP will hold their quarterly meeting on Tuesday, September 23, 5- 6:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Police Department Community Room (3600 Wheeler Avenue). The meeting will feature presentations on ACAP's evidence-based programs and ACPS's Family Life Education curriculum.
IMPACT 2014: Innovation+Philanthropy (10/1)


Join ACT for Alexandria and hundreds of community leaders across the region at a capacity building forum from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Alexandria (2932 King Street). The keynote speaker is Patty Stonesifer, President and CEO of Martha's Table. The event concludes with a networking lunch and information about ACT's Capacity Building Grant Program. Register by September 5 to receive a special, discounted rate.

Alexandria Fire Department Youth Explorer Program (Year-Round)


In conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America, the Alexandria Fire Department established Explorer Post 1774, which allows youth ages 14 through 20 to gain experience with the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The goal of the program is to provide experiences to help young people develop career and life skills through community involvement. Additional information is available on the Explorer Post 1774 website.



The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced on September 8 it will allow unused narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin to be returned to pharmacies. Until now, pharmacies were not allowed to accept unused opioid painkillers. The Controlled Substances Act required patients to dispose of the drugs themselves or give them to law enforcement during twice-yearly national "take-back" events.


Consumers will also be permitted to mail unused prescription medications to an authorized collector, in packages that will be available at pharmacies and locations including senior centers and libraries, The New York Times reports.


The regulations will take effect in one month, the article notes. In addition to OxyContin, the rule will include stimulants such as Adderall and depressants such as Ativan. The program will be voluntary for pharmacies. The DEA will require locations accepting drugs to permanently destroy them, but will not specify how they do it.


Flushing drugs down the toilet, or throwing out prescriptions in the trash, are discouraged because they could harm the environment.


Washington Post Opinion:


THE DISTRICT'S law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana went into effect only in July, but already voters are being asked to take the even more far-reaching step of legalizing the drug. We supported the elimination of harsh criminal penalties; jailing people who smoked pot and saddling them with criminal records made no sense and resulted in the unfair targeting of young black men.


But the rush to legalize marijuana gives us - and we hope voters - serious pause. Marijuana, as proponents of legalization argue, may or may not be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, both legal, but it is not harmless. Questions exist, so it would be prudent for the District not to make a change that could well prove to be misguided until more is known. Foremost here are the experiences and lessons learned by states that have opted for legalization.


Initiative No. 71, the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014, will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot and, if approved, would make it lawful for a person 21 years or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use, grow up to six plants at home and transfer without payment up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years or older. Because of the District's restrictions on what is subject to ballot approval, the initiative would not allow for the sale of marijuana, but initiative backers say they would expect the D.C. Council to address this and other issues with legislation.


It's instructive that the council, in assessing the city's approach to marijuana enforcement, chose the more cautious path of decriminalization rather than outright legalization. Voters would do well to consider the reasons for that caution.


The American Medical Association has come out against legalization, arguing that "cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern." The active ingredient in marijuana has been linked to memory problems, impaired thinking and weakened immune systems, not to mention it acts as a gateway to more dangerous drugs. Dangers are more pronounced for young people. A study just published in the Lancet Psychiatry reported that teenagers who smoke marijuana daily are 60 percent less likely to complete high school. Advocates of legalization say it would not apply to young people but with legalization inevitably comes a message of approval.


It's not been a year since Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana use and, as the Smart Approaches to Marijuana has catalogued, there have been negative consequences, including increased instances of impaired driving and increased use by youth. With marijuana already decriminalized, there's no reason for the District to rush the next step; why not at least give Colorado a bit more time to provide lessons?




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