Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more

Hello and welcome

BloggerWelcome to the Straight Up blog! We are excited about this opportunity for teens and young adults to share their view points, opinions and experiences and to help facilitate important community dialog around the issues of underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, marijuana use, prescription drug abuse, and other issues.

Writing for Straight Up

We are always looking for volunteers to write letters, opinions, articles and blog posts for Straight Up! Fill out the volunteer form and express your interests … and we’ll get right back to you.

Our goal at Straight Up is to change social norms that encourage, accept and allow underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, Rx drug and marijuana use and reduce the problems and tragedies that result from these dangerous activities. These serious issues are not just concerns for a few “troubled” youth and their parents. The problems and tragedies affect all of us and it will take our community working together for things to change.

The blog will be a resource for educators, for youth, for parents — for anyone with an interest in change. We’ll feature regular columns by youth contributors, valuable resources and articles, editorials — a variety of voices.

Got something to say and want somewhere to say it? Contact me to be a contributor to the Straight Up blog.

We are so proud of the important work Straight Up young people are doing in Ventura County and find their contributions and insights around these issues to be vital to county-wide prevention efforts and making change happen. We hope you will visit our blog regularly and participate in the community dialog they are facilitating here.

Katherine Kasmir
Executive Director
Straight Up
Reality Improv Connection, Inc.


Opioid and prescription drug abuse is a rising issue across all demographics, but especially a problem among teens. In 2011, studies found that 2 million student-aged youth were abusing prescription drugs (Source). Adults and parents with legitimate prescriptions often don't consider the abuse potential here and neglect to take precautions with



Let's get straight to the meat of it - Marijuana is not good for you. If you find yourself offended by this statement, breathe and think about it for a minute. People acknowledge that cigarettes are unhealthy. People acknowledge that alcohol is unhealthy. People acknowledge that cake is unhealthy. People

Join Ventura County Behavioral Health in August to discuss the Rx and Heroin issue in Ventura County. Learn about Ventura County's response to the growing problem of prescription pain medication and heroin abuse. Labeled a nationwide crisis and epidemic, reports from professionals and the community made it clear that this region

What is impaired driving?
"Impaired driving is dangerous. It's the cause of more than half of all car crashes. It means operating a motor vehicle while you are affected by. Alcohol. Legal or illegal drugs."
How big is the problem?

In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third

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