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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15 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Brain

Did you know…

1. The average human brain weight about 3 pounds. Compare that to the brain of a sperm whale brain (17 pounds), dog (2.5 ounces), cat (1 ounce), and goldfish (1/333 ounce).

2. The human brain may not be the largest of all brains, but it is the biggest when compared to body size.

3. During waking hours, the brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power—enough to light a light bulb.

4. Information in the brain travels at speeds of up to 268 miles per hour, faster than the race cars in the Indy 500, unless of course you are drunk, then things really slow down.

5. Your brain is approximately 80% water.

6. Your brain is estimated to have more than 100 billion neurons (also called nerve cells or brain cells), which is about the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

7. Each neuron is connected to other neurons by up to 40,000 individual connections called synapses.

8. Your brain has more connections than there are stars in the universe.

9. A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses all “talking” to each other.

10. A wrinkled brain makes you smarter! The brain’s wrinkles, grooves, and ridges give it more surface area and more processing power.

11. Your brain represents only about 2 percent of your body weight, but it consumes about 25% of the calories you consume, 25% of the total blood flow in your body, and 20% of the oxygen you breathe.

12. The idea that we only use 10% of our brains is a MYTH! You may not use every neuron in your brain at the same time, but each is important.

13. Your brain doesn’t fully mature until you reach about 25 years of age.

14. Your brain NEVER turns off or even rests, not even while you sleep. Your brain is very active at night, especially during dreaming.

15. Contrary to popular belief, your brain never stops changing and can continue to form new neural connections throughout your lifetime.

Your brain is the most complicated, amazing organ in the universe! It controls everything you do, feel, and think. Take care of it. Commit to better brain health because the brain is the MAIN thing!

SafeLaunch Portraits of Addiction and Hope

Thank you for the support Cox Cable!

Cox Communications Sarah Clark, Public Affairs Host of Community Connections Interviews SafeLaunch Co-Founders, Ron Cuff and Janet Rowse on Cox Channel 8

Cox Communications, our newest community partner, is giving SafeLaunch a very appreciated assist in raising awareness that addiction is a preventable disease that roots in the brains of our youth. Please watch.


Software Matters

CASA Teen Addiction Risk Graph

By SafeLaunch for Parent Click

It’s hard enough for schools to keep up with the exciting advances in technology. Parents, without resources and staff, hardly have a chance! Someone recently said, don’t fret over hardware. It’s the software that matters. That brings me to my point.

Our brains are our software, and research has shown that they change, modify, and get updated much longer than previously thought. Thanks to advances in technology, researchers can see and describe the neuroplasticity of our brains, which explains how our brains grow and change over time. During normal development our brains don’t develop to their full maturity until our mid- twenties.

As a parent of two great children who tested my brain every day, I became interested in cognitive development. I learned that young brains are not only great at learning and creating; they are also more susceptible to environmental damage. When our children are toddlers, we protect them from all kinds of harm. We buckle them into all kinds of conveyances, we make sure they wear helmets, knee, and elbow pads, we make them endure multiple life saving inoculations, and we do our best to provide the healthiest food for their growing bodies.

Parents go to great extremes to protect their small children, but aren’t quite sure how to protect them during their teen years. Our children’s access to technology hasn’t made this job any easier! When do you let them have more freedom, how much freedom, and under what circumstances? How do you define rights versus responsibilities? What is an appropriate curfew? The challenges and opportunities for growth, yours and theirs, are unending.
The most important thing I learned is that during adolescence, when our children’s bodies are growing taller and stronger than ours, their software… their brain… is still undeveloped. The brain develops from the back to the front, with the frontal lobe developing last. The frontal lobe controls most executive functions like planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, and more. During this very important growth phase, our brains are also more susceptible to becoming dependent on the substances that cause addiction, shockingly, up to 6 times more susceptible than a brain at maturity, which has about a 10% risk. To make matters worse, it is exactly during adolescence when the availability of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is most prevalent and peer pressure is the strongest.

Most people don’t know about the latest in software development, but now you know the latest in brain research as it relates to addiction risk. The next time one of your friends says that they’ll chaperone your teen and their friends at a party, please remember this. Keeping teens from driving cars while intoxicated or riding in cars with impaired drivers is very important. It’s equally important to prevent intoxicants from reaching their developing brains. For all children, and especially if your family has a history of any kind of substance addiction, be vigilant. When it comes to the chronic, life-changing disease of addiction, all children are at risk, and it is the software that matters.