Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more

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Engaging Youth in Prevention Advocacy

Straight Up is a Ventura County, California youth development project for ages 12-25 that promotes social change regarding underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, HIV/AIDS prevention, and other concerns using improvisation and interactive techniques to engage discussion, explore issues, and develop personal and community solutions to these issues.

Straight Up is made possible through funding from Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, Alcohol and Drug Programs.


Our activities include:


May 2015: Community Partner Award for Outstanding Partnership, Center for Community Engagement, Cal State University, Channel Islands

September 2012: Winner of CAPS-TV Cappie Award for “Be the DD Recruitment Video”

January 2011: Certificate of Appreciation from The Links, Incorporated (Channel Islands Chapter) for participation in the Youth Summit at CLU

October 2010: Certification of Recognition from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for participation in the 2010 Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking Prevention

April 2010: Palmer Drug Abuse Program honor

April 2010: Certificate of recognition and congratulation from the Mayor and City Council of the City of San Buenaventura

June 2009: Certificate of Appreciation from the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department’s Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board

March 2009: Honorary Service Award from California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students, Inc. (PTA)

March 2009: Certificates of acknowledgment from several members of the U.S. House of Representatives and California’s Senate and Legislature Assembly

Blog, Events and Social Media

Hospitalization for underage drinking costs an estimated $755 million in the United States each year, according to a new study by the Mayo Clinic.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org relays the Mayo Clinic's report, citing
among U.S. teens, about 18 of every 10,000 teenage males and 12 of every 10,000 teenage females were

AbovetheInfluence.com offers up a challenge to young people -- every few weeks, a theme is offered up, and you are invited to submit videos and photos about the best way to have an Unwasted Weekend. Challenges include jingles, art contests, and more. 
Weekends are our time to be ourselves. And if

MADD -- and all concerned community members -- need your help!

Last week, legislation was introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives to provide financial incentives to states that require all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device.  As you know, ignition interlocks are a key component of MADD’s

In December 2011, Katherine Kasmir and Matthew Goodkin-Gold were interviewed by Richard Senate for his Community Corner program on CAPS-TV Ventura. Many thanks to Richard and CAPS for allowing us to share excerpts from this video! There are three parts, approximately 10 minutes each.

Watch the video on the Straight Up YouTube

"T" is a 16 year old Ventura County resident. Names have been changed in this true story.

Ever since my parents got a divorce when I was only five years old, I have been trying to win my mother over. She never even showed an interest in fighting for custody. I

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