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Youth offenders

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Zona Seca

Youth Offenders Program

To be honest, I was really pissed off that I had to enter the Zona Seca program to begin with. My so-called infraction was a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am a full time student who works at least twenty-eight hours a week and is extremely pressed for time. The commute from Los Angeles was an extreme inconvenience. Just had to get that off my chest. Do not be fooled, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend this program. I just wish I could have took it here in L.A Surprisingly enough, the Zona Seca program was nothing like I expected. Going into the program I expected lengthy and boring lectures by condescending bureaucrats. To my surprise, the classes were interesting and informative. Our instructors both at the Rehabilitation Institute and the Zona Seca office were very understanding.

More programs that are prevention orientated rather than reactionary like Zona Seca are needed. Before the first class session I viewed Zona Seca as a kind of punishment; afterwards more like a therapy/counseling session. The visit with the coroner really struck a nerve. When the coroner started talking about the way young adults drink alcohol as opposed to the way most adults do I could not help but think of all the times I have gotten belligerent. He made the statement that most young people drink to get to drunk. I could not agree more. Although I do drink because I like the taste of alcohol, that taste was definitely acquired. When I first started drinking it was for the sole purpose of getting drunk. Death as a result of to much alcohol was something I was completely oblivious to. Imagining how close to permanent unconsciousness I may have been is extremely scary. I can remember being so drunk in Rosa Rito Mexico that I woke up the next morning not remembering a damn thing from the night before. That includes puking up my dinner, the seven hundred and fifty-ml bottle of Bacardi Limon and the ten or fifteen other mixed drinks I had. If my friends did not tell me of the details from the previous night I would had never known what happened. The coroner's report really made me look at the way I drink. I'm not going to stop drinking, but I am going to be a lot more responsible and careful when I do.

Visiting the Rehabilitation Institute was humbling. Seeing and partly going



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