Stopping the disease of addiction before it starts to ensure healthy futures for America's teens

Flights Above Addiction

Flights Above Addiction is a traveling teen art and aviation program that informs communities that addiction is a preventable chronic brain disease contracted in adolescence 90% of the time.

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Media $500 Contests

Media $500 Contests invite secondary students to produce compelling art and media illuminating the risk of early alcohol, tobacco, and other drug exposure.

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Science of Addiction

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

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SafeLaunch Presents: Keeping the Fun in Parenting with Gerry Lopez

Parent Coach Gerry Lopez Speaks at Parent Power Presentation on May 12

Gerry Lopez returns to La Cumbre Junior High School Theater in Santa Barbara on May 12 at 6 pm to help parents create a more joyful bond with their children.

A father of four and 26-year veteran prosecutor, Riverside County Supervising District Attorney Lopez has seen it all. Using his vast experience working with families in the juvenile justice system, Lopez has created an inspirational presentation that gives parents the tools they need to build positive and healthy relationships with their children while getting them ready for life.

“This is Gerry Lopez’s third Parent Power talk in Santa Barbara and I’m thrilled to be able to bring him back. Gerry’s insights help parents build the foundation that children need to become confident, self-reliant adults”, SafeLaunch President Janet Rowse said. “We’re especially thankful that Gerry’s colleague Deputy District Attorney Evelyn Essenwanger will be joining us again to ensure that both English and Spanish speaking parents receive top-notch presentations in their native language.”

This “Parent Power” presentation is made possible by the partnership of SafeLaunch and the Santa Barbara Unified School District and sponsored by Deckers Brands, Marborg, RotoRooter Santa Barbara, GJ Gardner Homes of Santa Barbara, Paradise Cafe and Recovery Road.

Parents will have the chance to win door prizes for fabulous local dining, hotels, and family fun activities. Why? Because parenting can and should be fun! SafeLaunch “staycation” partner businesses are The Upham Hotel, The Ramada Santa Barbara, Paradise Cafe, Beachside Bar Cafe, Finch & Fork, Glen Annie Golf Course, The Landshark, Ice in Paradise, The Santa Barbara Sailing Center, and The Santa Barbara Zoo.

Helpful resources will be provided by AHA Santa Barbara, CALM, Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, The Mental Wellness Center and SafeLaunch.

A light dinner will be available from 5-6pm for $4 per person.
Free childcare for ages 3-12 with study tables for students will be provided by the SBUSD.

Date: May 12, 2016
Time: Dinner, childcare and resource tables open at 5pm: Doors open at 6pm
Location: La Cumbre Jr High School, 2255 Modoc Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Cost: Free
Seating is limited

Contact SafeLaunch at 805-283-7233 or for more information.

Build a Healthy Brain & Future

“You may not realize it, but you have the ability to improve health and help prevent illness in your community for decades and beyond. The long-term benefits are better physical health, improved mental health and even the prevention of addiction. Children are the next generation of parents and business leaders, farmers and scientists, so it’s important to guard all kids in the community against toxic stress and to nurture their bodies and brains.”

Alberta Family Wellness Initiative

This resource remains copyright of the author, AFWI.

Teens in small towns across America are challenging age-old perceptions about “junkies” on the street in the worst way possible… by dying from heroin

In this NPR story from Kutztown, PA, guidance counselor Andrew Brett shares, “Kids aren’t afraid of it,” he tells me. “Years ago, it was,’Well, heroin is for junkies.’ And you had to be pretty low, and that was the perception. Well, that’s not the perception. It’s available and it’s cheap. And it’s readily available in our community.” He goes on to say that he has seen a recent pattern: kids who start with pot may pivot to prescription painkillers and sometimes — across the spectrum, from the highest achievers on down — to heroin.

When the student assistance team wants to intervene, they approach the student’s parents first, and school superintendent Kathy Metrick says that conversation doesn’t always go so well: “I sat across the table from a parent whose child had been found in possession of all sorts of paraphernalia, and she said he was picking up trash off the street, that he would never do that.”

Metrick goes on, “The denial is just so powerful. And you want to say, ‘Please save your child!’ Because, if we’re wrong, yay! That would be the best news ever. But gosh, if we’re right and we have a chance to step in now before it’s too late, let’s do that.”