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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Hope Takes Flight with SafeLaunch at Wings Over Fullerton 2017

The SafeLaunch co-founders felt excited but pensive on their way to Fullerton, California for this 26th SafeLaunch Flight Above Addiction aviation event, taking place the day before Mother’s Day. Carrying not only art supplies, they were bringing an important, hopeful message for families.

The names of 85 young people who died from drugs and/or alcohol have now been permanently affixed under the wings of the plane that is donated to this important prevention mission. Their life stories, shared by their parents, are an integral part of the SafeLaunch mission. While children painted their dreams on the plane and young parents learned about the risk of addiction to developing brains, our “Wing Parents” were in their communities across the country anticipating with heavy hearts how to get through another holiday without their child. To these mothers and fathers we say thank you, and take solace knowing that your child is flying to help protect children from addiction and parents from grief.

SafeLaunch shares the science of addiction risk and the stories of young people whose lives were cut too short with the belief that informed parents will be equipped to do everything possible to protect their children from the preventable disease of addiction. It’s not possible to regulate, enforce or treat our way out of this epidemic that killed over 55,000 Americans last year, but we can protect children from early exposure… where 90% of the disease begins.

Click here to learn more about Wind Beneath Our Wings. Donate to our mission here.

2017 SafeLaunch Media $500 Video Contest Winners!

On April 18, 2017, nine Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) secondary student finalists and their teams were recognized for their successful interpretation of the contest theme, How I Cope — What I Do When Life Gives Me Lemons, to the delight of their families, teachers and friends in the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board Room.

Click the image above for the slideshow.

The $500 1st Place Award went to Santiago Bailey Musacchio from Santa Barbara Junior High for “The Theater”, the $250 2nd Place Award went to Max Koenen from Santa Barbara High School for “How I Cope”, with the $100 3rd Place Award going to Larissa Mehlig from Goleta Valley Junior High for “Two Roads”. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Cynthia Lopez from Goleta Valley Junior High for “The Pill Bottle” and Gilbert Regalado from Santa Barbara High for “Drugs Are Bad”. Julia Barbieri Low, Ryan Ino, and Kenny Motolinio from La Cumbre Junior High School, and Karina Trejo from La Cumbre Junior High received Leadership Awards. The finalists’ films are available for viewing on the SafeLaunch YouTube channel.

After the film screening and before the winners were announced, motivational mindfulness coach Dave Mochel from Applied Attention reminded attendees that the behaviors we practice are the ones we’ll improve. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude are healthy, anxiety-reducing coping strategies available to everyone.

Teachers Rich Lashua from Santa Barbara Junior High and Bill Gourley from Goleta Valley Junior High and parent attendees received raffle prizes donated by event sponsors Paradise Cafe, Beachside Bar Cafe, Deckers Brands and DCH Lexus Santa Barbara.

A special appreciation goes to SBUSD Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Frann Wageneck for her commitment to all students, and her support of the district-wide parent education events presented in partnership with SafeLaunch during the 2016-17 school year.

The SafeLaunch mission is to reduce adolescent exposure to alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs because during development, the brain is up to 600% more susceptible to the disease of addition. To help spread the word and change the world, take the SafeLaunch Parent Pledge!



The 2017 Media $500 Video Contest is Live!

Secondary students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District are invited to compete in this year’s Media $500 Video Contest! Students have the opportunity to compete for $500, $250, and $100 cash scholarships in this contest that asks them to show others how they cope and thrive… even when life gives them lemons.



  1. Read the contest instructions.
  2. Make your video.
  3. Complete the entry form.
  4. Download, print and have your parent/guardian complete the waiver form. Scan or take a clear picture of the completed form and email it to
  5. Upload your video to Google Drive and share with
  6. Attend the Film Screening & Award Ceremony on April 18 at Goleta Valley Junior High School on April 18 at 6:30 with your parent/guardian and friends to vote for your favorite video and find out if you will win!!

Good Luck!