South Miami Coalition
What makes kids drink? Smoke cigarettes or marijuana? Abuse over-the-counter or prescription drugs?
The answer isn’t simple. What we know is that kids chose to use because of a combination of reasons. What they see their parents and family members doing plays a big part. So does their perception of their friends’ use. What they see around them has a powerful impact, too. In music and videos, in magazines, on television, billboards and the Internet, kids are bombarded with messages that tell them it’s cool to drink or use drugs. Over time, they can begin to believe that fun only happens with substance use.
In Miami-Dade County, nearly 40% of high schoolers drink. Nearly 15% smoke marijuana regularly. In South Miami, a group of dedicated people is working to reduce those numbers.
Founded in 2003 by Informed Families, the South Miami Drug-Free Coalition is a group of concerned citizens, business owners, educators, law enforcement officers, government officials and others who work to lower alcohol and drug use rates in the city, particularly among youth. Supported by a small but dedicated staff, the coalition brings together business, law enforcement, education, health care, government, faith communities, service organizations, the media, youth and parents to change perceptions about alcohol, marijuana and tobacco, and reduce the number of kids drinking and smoking. Our programs target youth, parents and businesses.