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.


DoSomething.org offers up innovative ideas for young people to get involved and make a change. Their action tips for alcohol abuse awareness include a guide on creating a designated driver program, on designing an informational health brochure, and filming a documentary.

DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the U.S.



The Prize Posse, part of the "Be the DD and Win" campaign, has come to Ventura twice over the summer, and will come through again on Friday, September 30.

The Posse, who promote awareness and appreciation of designated drivers at targeted clubs in downtown Ventura, has given away pamphlets, candy, and

The Acorn provides an update to the County's Social Host Ordinance, a civil fine which can be levied against people who allow underage drinking on their premises.

Promisingly, the SHO has been put into effect 83 times in Ventura County, since it went into effect in 2006.

Read more on The Acorn

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