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.


Drugfree.org reports of a new resource that will be valuable to parents regarding the issues of substance abuse and young people.

The Parents Toll-Free Helpline, 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373), is staffed by clinical social workers with practical experience in substance abuse prevention and treatment. The helpline, launched by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, began taking calls in April



This essay was written by a 17-year-old Ventura County student.

I remember when I was 11; my 17-year-old sister had come home at 4:30am – no surprise there. But this time, she was crying to my mother who was right next to me. I woke up and was told to leave





Above the Influence offers up some cool, interactive artwork that you can feature on your mobile device or computer -- and you can post animations about what being "above the influence" means to you on your social network profile.

Each design in the "Symbol-ize Yourself" section contains thoughts and reasons

The ability to get behind the wheel and drive while drunk could be eliminated by new technology being explored. We need the community's support and voice -- alert lawmakers to this important step!

MADD reports --
Tomorrow’s cars could potentially be the cure for drunk driving with technology to automatically determine whether

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