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.

From the JoinTogether.org newsroom:

California Law Bans Alcohol Sales at Self-Checkout Aisles
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law banning alcohol sales at self-checkout aisles. Starting January 1, 2012, anyone who buys alcohol must pay a cashier, according to the Los Angeles Times. more

From the JoinTogether.org newsroom:

Federal Officials Tell California Marijuana Dispensaries to Shut Down

United States attorneys in California have told dozens of marijuana dispensaries they must close or face criminal and civil action. The move is part of a crackdown on California’s medical marijuana industry, The New York Times reports. more

This post was written by a middle school student in Ventura County.

I think friends influence other friends all the time. If you are at a party, and you see your friends drinking, sometimes you are going to have a hard time saying "no" to a drink.

Since they're your friends, they

This post was written by a Ventura County high school student.

So this is about my friend. He lives in England now. Because the legal drinking age there is lower than in the US, he  and his friends thought it was okay to go out all night and party.

After about five

September is Recovery Month. From the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of treatment for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery