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.


Ventura County is coming up on some major decisions regarding cannabis and how it will affect our community. For this post I will be speaking briefly about future dispensaries in our county. I gathered this information at the VCBH Mapping Marijuana 2017 event that was hosted yesterday. Special thanks to

Not sure if a Reality Party's right for you? Read an excerpt or follow the links below to get a larger impression of what they're all about and see what kind of experiences recent attendees have had!

For a rundown and explanation of our Reality Parties for Parents, check out this page.

January

It's hard to comprehend depression as someone who's never felt it before - and I think the largest roadblock to that understanding is the common assumption that when people say they suffer from "depression", they're referring to the natural sadness that might accompany a breakup or an unfortunate life situation.

Depression as it applies

Are you up to date on tobacco news? This just in! Walgreens is getting involved in the politics of its shareholders:

"Walgreens is blocking its shareholders from voting on ending tobacco sales. It's pretty bad that a pharmacy chain that claims to be "at the corner of happy and healthy" continues

Neat! What Is It?
"Teens Kick Ash is intended to develop the next generation of tobacco-free advocates. Through hands-on training and team-building activities, middle and high school students from all over Ventura County learn facts about tobacco-related health risks. They also learn presentation and advocacy skills that will help them produce

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