DRUG NET CAN SNARE ANYONE STUDIES SHOW YOUNG ADULTS IN SCV AMONG MOST AT RISK.Byline: Kathleen Sweeney Staff Writer
SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, - Ricky was 8 or 9 when he took his first sip of alcohol.
Katie was 12 when she started getting drunk and hanging out with older guys.
Jennifer was in sixth grade when she tried smoking cigarettes before graduating to marijuana and speed two years later.
Their stories may not sound familiar, but they come from sons, daughters, friends and neighbors. They are straight-A students, jocks, troubled teens and dropouts. They are the young adults of Santa Clarita.
Alcohol and drug use among teens in the valley is on the rise, experts say. Marijuana and the designer drug ecstasy are the drugs of choice among high schoolers, and studies show girls are drinking as much alcohol as boys.
``Everyone,'' teens say when asked who is using drugs and alcohol. ``Parents are oblivious to the fact.''
While national trends suggest teen drug use is slowing, school and law enforcement officials here say as the population increases, so does use.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a recent study by the city of Santa Clarita and an American Drug Alcohol survey, by 12th grade, two of three youths have tried marijuana, four of five have experimented with alcohol and one in five have taken some type of stimulant stimulant, any substance that causes an increase in activity in various parts of the nervous system or directly increases muscle activity. Cerebral, or psychic, stimulants act on the central nervous system and provide a temporary sense of alertness and well-being as .
The study says 52 percent of youths said there was alcohol available at parties, 84 percent said it's easy to obtain drugs, and 75 percent said they know someone who will buy liquor for them.
``Findings, particularly at the high school level, indicate that exposure and use is higher than the national average with regard to substances and among certain grade levels,'' the survey said.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. found there is no difference between teen-age girls' drinking habits and those of teen boys and estimate that 11.4 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. is by underage drinkers. Another study found that nearly one-third of high school students say they binge drink at least once a month.
Sheriff's Deputy Paul Kobe, a school resources officer at Valencia High School Valencia High School may refer to:
``Kids use more drugs today than they did 20 years ago,'' he said. ``Maybe it's because parents aren't keeping a good eye on their kids as they (once) did.''
Kobe sees the increase in population contributing to Santa Clarita's drug problem as it gives kids more opportunity to hide their addictions and problems.
``It's hard to keep track of kids,'' he said. ``They can hide from everybody and get lost in the mix.''
At the same time, some of the teens using drugs don't seem to care if they get caught, Kobe said. He has busted bust·ed
a. Smashed or broken: busted glass; a busted rib.
b. Out of order; inoperable: a busted vending machine.
2. kids smoking marijuana near the campus bathrooms, in classrooms and inside shopping centers shopping center, a concentration of retail, service, and entertainment enterprises designed to serve the surrounding region. The modern shopping center differs from its antecedents—bazaars and marketplaces—in that the shops are usually amalgamated into .
Dan Finn, a detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department This article is about the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department, not to be confused with the smaller Los Angeles County Police
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is a local law enforcement agency that serves Los Angeles County, California. Career Offender Burglary Robbery Apprehension team, said while it's easy to spot the users, it's more difficult to find the dealers, who are selling mostly marijuana and ecstasy out of the park bathrooms, in the hallways at school or at Friday night parties.
Dealers are hard to catch, he said. Teens arrested for possession of illegal substances usually offer vague answers as to who is supplying the drugs, such as a ``white guy in the San Fernando San Fernando, city, Argentina
San Fernando (săn fərnăn`dō), city (1991 pop. 144,761), Buenos Aires prov., E Argentina. It is a district administrative center in the Greater Buenos Aires area. Valley'' or ``a Latino from Antelope Valley This article is about the Los Angeles County region. For the census-designated place in Wyoming, see Antelope Valley-Crestview, Wyoming.
The Antelope Valley .''
``If we could catch that white guy from the Valley, we would get one- third of the drug purchases,'' Finn said. ``Generally, nine of 10 times, it's someone they know and they aren't willing to give up the name.''
The Sheriff's Department most often arrests kids for possession of marijuana but is beginning to run into more cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine methamphetamine (mĕth'ămfĕt`əmēn): see amphetamine; methedrine. , just like in other areas in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County.
``We aren't any different than anywhere else,'' Finn said. ``We aren't as bad as some areas, but we aren't as good as others. People need to stop viewing us as this isolated valley. It's a false perception.''
Ricky, Katie and Jennifer along with a group of other youths laugh at the Ward and June Cleaver image of Santa Clarita. They say it is misleading and this community has a dark side - drugs are running rampant.
But these teens are taking control of their lives, sobering up before and after hitting rock bottom. And they are doing it with help from their parents, other teens and the support group Action.
Cary Quashen formed the parent and teen support group in 1989 after working with troubled teens and families through substance-abuse therapy and recovery guidance. He recently celebrated 21 years of sobriety.
Young adults won't stop using and abusing alcohol and drugs until they begin to pay the consequences for their actions, he said. Then, they have to make a commitment to themselves to stay clean.
This counselor admits he sees an alarming trend of teens using more drugs today than ever before, and some are skipping the gateway drugs, such as marijuana, and heading straight for methamphetamines and ecstasy.
There are a variety of reasons Quashen and the teens give for drugs becoming more widespread, including little supervision, low self-esteem, depression and mental illness disorders.
Most often, Mom isn't waiting at home after school with milk and cookies like 30 years ago, he said. Instead, 75 percent of teens say they spend the most time with friends, who they consider the closest people in their lives.
Shaun, 18, never experimented with drugs until recently, he said. Then, one morning, he woke up, made a phone call and started smoking pot.
That quickly led to cocaine and hallucinogens, eventually causing him to disrupt his family life and lose a steady job.
``I didn't care,'' said Shaun, who now lives in a sober house. ``You get faded and go out and have fun.''
Quashen said sometimes a parent is to blame as much as a child, especially those who want to befriend be·friend
tr.v. be·friend·ed, be·friend·ing, be·friends
To behave as a friend to.
to become a friend to
Verb 1. their children. Moms and dads can't be friends; they need to be parents.
``Parents need to be in control of what is happening,'' he said. ``Kids don't have rights. The stronger we get as parents, the better we are. It takes a community to raise our kids.''
It's group support that keeps this band of teens of at least 20 coming together each Tuesday night at Saugus High to discuss their sobriety and problems.
While their stories are different, many of them start the same - curiosity led them to drugs, and the numbed pain kept them using.
Ricky, 17, has been sober for nearly two months after spending every dime he earned, legally and by selling dope, on cocaine. He was snorting 'snorting' Substance abuse A popular method for consuming cocaine and opiates–one nostril is held closed, the other inhales pulverized cocaine. See Cocaine, Crack. one to five grams a day before he turned himself and his drugs in to a rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy. center.
He started using alcohol and drugs the way many do - offered by older siblings siblings npl (formal) → frères et sœurs mpl (de mêmes parents) or relatives. He got his first taste from his cousins. The alcohol use eventually led him to smoke marijuana and use cocaine, which was easy to obtain from a friend of a friend.
Ricky liked to get high and felt adults had lied to him about the deceptions of drugs, he said. He felt good and was having a great time.
That was until he woke up one day not long ago, in debt and addicted ad·dict·ed
1. Physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance.
2. Compulsively or habitually involved in a practice or behavior, such as gambling. . He no longer felt lied to.
``There's nothing anyone could have told me,'' he said. ``I needed to find out by myself.''