June 2017 Newsletter

SAPCA's Highlights & Annoucements
Please join us in a warm farewell to former SAPCA Coordinator Whitney Chao! As a new mom, Whitney has decided to enjoy spending time with her newborn baby boy. We are very excited for Whitney and her family and wish them all the best!
wreckED Presentations at T.C. Williams HS
SAPCA presented "wreckED" to JROTC students at T.C. Williams High School on April 17 and 18. The interactive presentation covered topics from prescription drug abuse and drinking to peer pressure. Students answered questions, participated in scenarios, and played BINGO to test their knowledge. 
Community of Concern Dinner 
The Community of Concern Dinner took place on Wednesday, April 26, at George Washington Middle School. Over 100 middle-school students and their parents participated in education and dialogue related to underage drinking prevention. The workshop featured expert presentations on the scientific effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain. After the lectures, parents and students engaged in guided conversations at their tables.
April Prescription Drug Take Back Day
On Saturday, April 29, the second of four prescription drug take back days was held in Alexandria. An additional drop off location was included this time, amounting to four sites total throughout the city. SAPCA was onsite at each location and assisted with handing out at-home disposal kits for residents to safely dispose of medications between take back day events. Alexandria law enforcement collected over 400 pounds of drugs. Special thanks to Coalition partners for providing this service to the community: Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Sheriff's Office, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, First Baptist Church, Alexandria Fire Department, Alexandria Renew Enterprises and Covanta.  
International Substance Abuse Prevention: A Lesson from Iceland
Iceland's Efforts to Stop Teen Substance Abuse
Twenty years ago, adolescents in Iceland were among the heaviest drinkers in Europe. Now, Iceland is home to some of the "cleanest-living" European teens. Rates for alcohol, marijuana and tobacco use have dropped significantly over the past 18 years - but how? The article explains how traditional substance use/abuse prevention programs are not effective. Instead of focusing on educational strategies, Iceland's program "Youth in Iceland" addresses identified protective factors: teens involved in organized activities, spend time with parents during the week, feel cared about in school, and are not outside late at night, all report lower substance use. These findings prompted the program to strengthen laws regarding curfews and the legal age to purchase tobacco and alcohol."Youth in Iceland" also encourages parents to spend more time with their children, as well as form better relationships with their school(s). Additionally, organized after-school activities are provided for youth.

The Opioid Epidemic
Drug overdoses now cause more deaths than both gun violence and car accidents. Despite these facts, a recent CDC study suggests that we may still be underestimating the number of deaths caused by opioid use due to poor death surveillance systems and reporting . There is no national standard for what constitutes as an opioid overdose; local officials are left to determine whether or not the cause of death was related to drug overdose. Cases involving multiple conditions and underlying causes of death can become tricky. 

Upcoming Community Events:
Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference
August 14-16, 9 am - 5 pm
Lee Center Exhibit Hall
1108 Jefferson Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Contact Us:
Lauren Kiefert, SAPCA Intern
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria 
421 King Street, 4th Floor Suite
Alexandria, VA 22314
O: 703.746.3670