February 12, 2015
By Dan Namowitz
Winged Dream Machine Helps Teach Addiction-free Lesson
An airplane-as-metaphor for “the vast possibilities that a life without addiction holds” is helping a California nonprofit steer youngsters away from early exposure to drug abuse.
SafeLaunch, of Santa Barbara, California, taps resources of education, art, and aviation to preempt the damage that drug or alcohol abuse can inflict on its most vulnerable prey: children.
When exposed to alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, “children are up to six times more vulnerable to the brain disease of addiction than adults,” SafeLaunch says, citing information from addiction education organization Casa Columbia. That means all children. Forget about demographic or socioeconomic sub-categories, or common notions of at-risk populations. When it comes to the vulnerability of children to addiction, labels don’t apply.
About 90 percent of the time, addiction begins in the teen years, SafeLaunch says. By facing down addiction for what it is—”a preventable brain disease”—SafeLaunch believes addiction can be defeated.
How do art and aviation play a role in prevention?