Parents want the best for their kids and sometimes we worry about what our teenager is doing when we are not with them. Parents can’t be everywhere all the time, and we sometimes ask ourselves if we are doing everything we can to provide the best environment for our teen to succeed and thrive.
Santa Cruz County youth routinely report that one of the most common ways they access alcohol, tobacco, cannibis and prescription medication is from their home, or other homes (friends and relatives). This knowledge allows us as parents to make a profound and direct impact on whether or not youth in our community have access to substances that can cause them harm. 

Talk It Up – Have conversations regularly with your kids about drugs and alcohol will help to encourage them to avoid substance abuse all together.
Lock It Up - Secure, Monitor and Dispose of substances within your home so that youth do not have easy access to alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or prescription drugs.


Social access and availability are key predictors of youth involvement in substance use. Youth in Santa Cruz County have high rates of substance use and routinely report that they access alcohol and other drugs from home environments. The Talk It Up, Lock It Up Project is a community change model to limit youth access to substances in home settings by changing the physical environment. This campaign is a multi-pronged approach using a youth- adult partnership model to implement the project. Youth and adults will be recruited and trained to be Lock It Up Advocates. Advocates will conduct a community assessment with key partners and power players via 100 one-on-one interviews. Advocates will raise parent and community member awareness about the extent of the problem while using information gathered from the one-on-ones to address the gaps in community awareness. The message will be disseminated through strategic use of traditional and social media.  Community engagement through local events and venues will enhance messaging and promote secured storage to change the home environment through lock boxes for medications, and built in locking cabinets. The Talk It Up, Lock It Up project will enhance community members ability to create safe home environments through locking up alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs thus reducing youth access to substances. Research indicates that decreased access to substances from home environments results in decreasing youth substance use and abuse.

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