Monday, November 30 , 2015, 12:01 pm | Fair 63º

SafeLaunch Invites Teens to Focus on Beauty of Life for Annual Media $500 Contest

By Janet Rowse for SafeLaunch |

The SafeLaunch fourth annual Media $500 Contest challenges teens to make 30-second videos that motivate parents and peers to enjoy life without using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs that cause addiction.

The contest stakes are high because teen risk to the disease is high — up to 600 percent higher than for adults.

"Every person needs to understand the brain science behind addiction," SafeLaunch co-founder Janet Rowse said.

The old prevention message "Just Say No" isn't enough given that research has shown that until our mid-20s when the brain is fully developed, teens are highly susceptible to drug dependency, and that risk drops dramatically as they age. The safest, most preventive action that parents and teens can take is to postpone first exposure to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for as long as possible. Advertising campaigns of legal and illegal substances set youth and their families up for the struggle and pain of chronic addiction.

SafeLaunch wants everyone to know that there is a better way to a great life: prevent young brains from exposure to addictive substances for as long as possible. SafeLaunch believes that it takes everyone working together to launch children safely into adulthood. To learn more, email [email protected] or call 805.283.7233.

The contest is open to teens in seventh through 12th grades in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. Focus on the beauty of life to win. This year's theme is "Life Is Beautiful!" Drugs and Alcohol Can Wait."

Teens must submit the videos online between March 1 and March 15. Click here for instructions.

— Janet Rowse is a co-founder of SafeLaunch.

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