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.








If you haven't visited mjfactcheck.org for the latest up to date findings on the effects of marijuana on your mental and physical well-being, you're missing out. With the push for legalization on the rise, many side effects of the drug are either ignored or swept under the rug. Mjfactcheck.org examines the latest statistics

"Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health

If you've been to our Reality Parties for Parents, you're no stranger to the fact that teen drinking culture is a tad outta control - And hopefully the health panel and local PD offered some handy solutions and tips for communicating with your community members and teenagers.

But we're always hungry

The future looks bright! While substance abuse of course remains an issue, trends are down and prevention actions are up.
Use and Trends
This year’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of drug use and attitudes among American 8th, 10th, and 12th graders is encouraging, with past-year use of illicit drugs other than

*This post was written by a Ventura County young adult.

How was I lucky enough to be hanging out with the most popular guys at school? I was at a friend's house when his older brother came home with buddies, including a senior that I and every girl at school crushed

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