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:
- A range of options for interactive classroom workshops
- Youth leadership development and spokesperson training
- Reality Parties for Parents – After seeing teen actors portray scenes from a simulated drinking party and voice their concerns about trends in youth alcohol use, parents explore what adults can do to make a difference and keep their kids safe
- Community assessments – Identifying problems & potential solutions
- Guidance and support for planning & implementing your own prevention projects
- Training in Reality Improv and social change theatre techniques
- Video production – Webcasts & public service announcements
- Community discussion through the Straight Up blog
- Straight Up audio podcast
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
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug by youth, second only to alcohol. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. They change the way the brain and the body work.
Is it more potent today? Is it addictive? Can it affect your child's development? Download this helpful PDF document to get
NPR's Talk of the Nation discusses binge drinking and its dangers for youth and adults, how it impacts brain chemistry, social norms around the subject, and more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that binge drinking, usually associated with young people, is an issue among adults as well.
National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) announced a new partnership to raise public awareness regarding the consequences of drugged driving. read more on the MADD site >>
From the Ventura County Star:
In an effort to reduce drunken driving and substance-related traffic accidents during the holidays, local officials hope to make people think before they pick up the car keys.
The effort, funded by a federal grant as well as resources provided by several Ventura bars and restaurants, will use rewards
If you think prescription drug use is somehow "safer" than other drugs, think again. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), treatment admissions for prescription drug abuse rose 430 percent from 1999 to 2009.
The Partnership at Drugfree.org reports SAMHSA's findings, stating that, while admissions for heroin, cocaine,