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.

*This post was written by CSUCI student, Emily Hernandez.

When you shake a soda can, the carbonated fizz is waiting to burst at the slightest opening it can find. When a person bottles up things time and time again, the same effect happens. At one point you have to burst. Most

Be the DD and Win! is coming back for another round of February prizes for designated drivers! If you'd like to join the Prize Posse for their February 26th run, check out Be the DD's volunteer page. OR if you plan on being a DD for this weekend, hit up

*This post was written by CSUCI student, Mayleen Cortez.

Up until my 7th grade year, the thought of parting with my hats was insane. Leaving the house without a hat was something I didn’t even really dream of. After all, I’d been wearing them every time I was out in public since

*This blog entry was written by a Ventura County youth in August 2015
I was about halfway through with eighth grade when most of my friends had already tried weed and experimented with drinking alcohol. I’d pretty much gone with it, if not helped lead the charge into drug use at

Be the DD and Win! is a designated driver program launched in 2011 and it’s taken hold of the downtown Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo and Simi Valley nightlife scene in an incredible way. The campaign includes the popular Prize Posse, a group of fun and exciting young people who take

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