Franklin County Youth Summit Addresses Teen Drug Use

Local leaders in Franklin County sat down for some "straight talk" with teens on curbing drug and alcohol use.

Anthony Franklin, Haley Wood and Kellie Estes are all high schoolers in Franklin County, and all "outspoken" on what's really going on outside of the classroom.

Kellie says, "It's prescription drugs, cocaine. You wouldn't believe the amount of cocaine use in school. You wouldn't believe the amount of drug use in school."

Anthony Franklin adds, "You can get someone 21 or over, and they can get you a six pack. You just have to pay them. Because of this, you can get into a wreck and end someone's life. That's happening too often around here."

Thursday, county leaders sat down with teens as part of a youth summit. It's an initiative coordinated by Franklin's Promise Coalition.

Jim McDonough, the director of the Florida Office of Drug Control, says, "Franklin County, Apalachicola, it's got some serious problems, but leadership is getting together. They're including children, and they're prepared to do something about the problems."

Franklin County teens say there just aren't a lot of activities and life on the beach can often times be a bore.

Haley Wood a Carrabelle High student, says, "One thing we don't have is a junior ROTC program. I have friends in other counties who were abusing substances, but now they have completely stopped. They know they can't do that if they what to go in to the service and do what they want to do."

The goal of this and future summits is to help the youth of Franklin County take control of their futures.

A 2004 survey conducted by Franklin's Promise Coalition showed marijuana usage among Franklin County high schoolers at an average of 17 percent, higher than the state’s average of 16 percent.