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YouthSpeaksOut! is a monthly program hosted by high school students in Mendocino County California. These hosts are from Laytonville High School who are involved in Mock Trials.
Today's hosts are me, Colten, and (point to others who will state their names). We all attend Laytonville High School.
We are members of the Laytonville Mock Trial team. We recently won the Mendocino County competition and will represent the county at the State finals later this month. In about 15 minutes we will explain what Mock Trial is and what we have learned from being on the team.
First though, we are going to listen to excerpts from a public forum called "Meth Awareness." This was held in Laytonville in November, sponsored by Laytonville Healthy Start.
Meth refers to methamphetamine, commonly called "crank" or "speed." In our communities, alcohol and marijuana are the most frequently abused substances. Meth comes in third in most areas and often results in psychosis, violence, ill health, and devastating addiction.
Initial use of meth creates euphoria, self-confidence, and the energy to accomplish tasks. This results in a reward circuit for a job well done, homework completed, or praise for perseverance. Meth is a powerful anti-depressant at first, and our culture favors "chatty, perky" attitudes. The after effect of meth use is a depletion of serotonin and dopamine- leaving the user very depressed and foggy. And thus an addiction cycle is easily begun.
Staying up for days without eating is common among meth users- this level of abuse is called "tweaking" and frequently includes the abuse of alcohol in an attempt to control energy surges. As Candy from the Long Vally Health Center says in the recording we are about to hear- "Your body has to dream. And if you are not wise enough to lay down and sleep, your body will dream while you are awake- and that is basically why people hallucinate."
Here are excerpts from a public forum on Meth awareness held in Laytonville last November.
(Play recording- 13:23)
(You can hear the recording here- http://youthspeaksout.net/MethAwareEdit.mp3
That was a recording from a public forum on "Meth Awareness" that was held in Laytonville last November. It was organized by Laytonville Healthy Start. The purpose of the forum was to provide information, introduce health care resources, and answer questions from the public. People in attendance felt that their community is wise to explore social problems in the open- an informed community is a healthy community.
Hani, are you aware of meth being used by high school students?
5-10 minute discussion.
Our other topic today is "Mock Trials." Mock trial is the name of an extracurricular program in which students participate in simulated courtroom trials to learn new skills and compete with each other. The mock trials are set up and structured just like a real court, bound by the same rules. This can help the students to know exactly what role each of the different people in a court (judges, lawyers, witnesses, etc.) do in the judicial system. The students prepare both defense and prosecution teams and professionals judge the outcome of the trial. There are a minimum of 8 members on a mock trial team.
At Laytonville High School we are prepared for the trials by Ms. McHenry, Mr. Potter, and our legal adviser Beth Norman- we are grateful for their guidance. Ukiah, Fort Bragg, and Laytonville high schools compete in February to see who will represent Mendocino county in the State finals. Well, not to brag, but we at Laytonville are returning as county champions again this year.
We are going to discuss how our program works, what the actual mock trials are like, and what we gain by putting a lot of time into this program. We will talk for 20 or 30 minutes and then open the phone lines for your questions and comments. We are at the Willits studio and our phone number will be 707 456-9991. We really appreciate your involvement in our shows and hope that you will join in the conversation.
Hani, let's begin by describing the trials we were involved in last month.
We're going to open the phone lines now. The phone number is 456-9991. Everyone is welcome to call, and we'd especially like to encourage the youth, their parents, and concerned friends in the listening audience. Please call in if you have questions or insights about Mock Trials or about the Meth Awareness public forum that was held in Laytonville.
What do you think of the Mock Trial program? How have you learned about the way our judicial system works? Or is it still a mystery to you?
Do you think that our judicial system is fair? Are there parts of our system that you would change?
Is methamphetamine a problem in your community? Do you think that education can help people avoid this substance? Is there a similarity between meth use and the widespread popularity of coffee and the so-called "energy drinks"? Is there a difference between cocaine abuse and meth abuse? Does our culture push us toward the use of anti-depressants, both the pharmaceutical and black-market varieties? Would it be useful to have a meth awareness public forum in your community?
The phone number is 456-9991. When you call, please be ready to turn down your radio or we'll get a very confusing echo. The number is 456-9991. Please call and be a part of this discussion on mock trial and methamphetamine.