SANTA BARBARA The California Department of Healthcare Services has awarded the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness $110,000 in funding to implement initiatives against prescription drug abuse and underage marijuana use. According to a press release, funding will be given to local agencies such as Future Leaders of America, Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley, and the Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition.
These agencies will utilize the funds for a media campaign advocating for “Safe Storage” and “Safe Disposal” of prescription drugs, and on the marijuana front will partner with the Department of Behavioral Wellness to implement the “Let’s Talk Cannabis” campaign. This will provide individuals with scientific information on cannabis, which the release says is used by 17 percent of eleventh graders in Santa Barbara County. Behavioral Wellness healthcare program coordinator Katarina Zamora stated that some youth in Santa Barbara “have the idea that marijuana is not harmful, which could affect their decision to experiment using it.”
She added, “We want to avoid that by encouraging parents to discuss the effects of marijuana with their children.”