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  1. Abrad
    www.heraldtribune.com
    It's said that with its sophistication and charm, Sarasota is the gem of Florida's Gulf Coast.

    However, our city, as beautiful as it might be, contains underlying issues -- some seldom addressed.

    I've discovered through research that drug convictions in Florida made up 48.9 percent of its total criminal convictions in 2001. This is above the national average of 41.2 percent.

    Being a part of the younger generation, I'm interested in this problem.

    According to a survey, a higher percentage of middle- and high-school students in Sarasota have tried the specific drug OxyContin than in any other county in Florida. The 2002 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey reports that 5.9 percent of students in grades six through 12 in Sarasota County say they have experimented with the drug, compared with a 2.5 percent state average.

    There are hundreds of reasons that teens will claim they try/use drugs. Many teens believe this is due to the lack of recreational activities available in our city. Drugs and alcohol have come to represent teens' last resort for entertainment. Perhaps making the few activities that are available more affordable to the youth of our city, or developing more clubs, organizations or hangouts, so to speak, would mean that a smaller portion of our younger generation will be part of that 48.9 percent.

    As Whitney Houston once sang, "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way."

    Take this quote to heart. I know that I'm not the only one in this city who feels this way. There are so many other teens dying to express their opinions on matters left unaddressed, which, hopefully, in time, will be resolved.

    Katherine Valdesuso

Comments

  1. adzket
    As Whitney Houston once sang, "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way."

    is she is leading by exsample after all the problems she has had with drugs over the last few years lol.
  2. KorSare
    Hahaha, I am laughing out loud at the blatant contradiction pointed out by adzket. While the words convey a true message, it is always hard to take a hypocrite's words to heart. A sweet melodious voice always helps though.

    I'd have to agree that the lack of recreational activities probably adds to the list of reasons that youth turn to drugs and alcohol. Speaking towards the general population, of course. People will always have different reasons.

    But after taking a look at Sarasota's official website athttp://www.sarasotafl.org/
    well........ yeah. I'd say the lack of recreational activities is a very probable cause - at least in this small town. Not to say that golf courses, or the "antique cars" aren't mind-blowingly exciting...

    However, will opening more "clubs" and "hangouts" really help the cause? Or will kids simply have a new place to get drunk or indulge in narcotic binges?
    I live in a city where there is a brilliant nightlife. And I know of some friends of friends that will use drugs to alter their state of being, for the sole purpose of altering their state of being.

    Sometimes the lure to drugs isn't caused by something external; but is because of what they are. *gasp* :eek:

    I also found it odd that this article mentions the drug Oxycontin, specifically. Now, knowing that Florida is an infamous retirement location, and Sarasota seems to be a perfect little place to kick back and do nothing.... do you think the reason these kids have a higher Oxycontin experimentation rate, is because it is easily obtainable from their grandparents arthritis medications?

    :pjust a thought....

    It is interesting though, that Florida's drug conviction average is around 8% higher than the national average. If anyone has any other statistics or explanations about this, I'd like to see them.
  3. rxbandit
    i know boredum is a catylst for use at least for me and just about everyone i know.
  4. BlueMystic
    Have been to Florida many times. There really isn't much there for youth to do outside of the house (videogames, etc.). They charge out the ass for the few activities that there are. There are barely any parks around in towns and neighborhoods. Florida has patches of grass with a bench and a tree or two that are called parks. Don't think many kids/adolescents would consider a grassy median a fun place to hang out. There are some parks and even fewer that are free. Not saying that parks or recreational activities are the answer, but they do offer an opportunity for adolescents, and people in general, to exert their energy. Then there is the heat/humidity that factors in during the summer months. Florida is setup for tourists, money, and alcohol. It seems that little consideration is taken for Florida's own citizens and even less for it's children/adolescents.
  5. Alfa
    Do you really have to pay to go to the park? WTF? Pay for nature?
  6. BlueMystic
    Yeah. Most of the parks that are worth going to, charge for entry. I even remember a beach or two in New York that used to charge (don't know if still do) for entry. Capitalizing on nature at humanities expense. Preposterous!

    From their point of view. How much better does it get? Find places in nature that people like to go to, put up a fence/wall around it with a entry booth, and charge whatever we feel like. Easy money.

    I can go on and on about the reprocutions that such actions can and have had, but I'll refrain from a long rant.
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