Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Some Adult Pleasures Not Worth the Ride

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Some Adult Pleasures Not Worth the Ride

Article excerpt

Columnists rarely solve problems with words. The pen may be

mightier than a sword, but don't use it against a mugger.

(Threaten the mugger with a future column.)

Drug use is up among the young. But adults use the two drugs on

the planet that kill the most people. Alcohol and tobacco kill

about 25 times more people than all of the illegal drugs

combined. If alcohol were a newly developed drug seeking

approval for legal usage, it would face rejection based on its

side effects and potential for abuse.

We need to be honest with children. People use drugs because

they enjoy the effects. Penicillin helps people feel better by

killing germs. Alcohol hides pain for many. It has an ancient

history as a social lubricant.

Jesus lent credibility by changing water to wine. A component

in wine has proved to be of value in protecting some from heart

disease. (It is also present in grape juice.) Alcohol

consumption is a sacred right worshiped at parties and sports

events. It is a drug with positive and negative side effects.

We expect children to wait until they are "old enough" to enjoy

the privilege of drinking or having sex. These are "adult

pleasures." Then, we applaud a child's adult-level athletic

performance. A mixed message? Children rarely see the

distinction that some adult things are fine, others aren't.

During a recent mountain bike race at Hanna Park, I talked with

a fascinating woman from Hilton Head Island, S.C., Kathy Moore.

She is active in drug-abuse prevention in her area's schools.

Two years ago, her son, Tim, and his best friend got involved

in a very esoteric bike ritual called observed trials. Their

competition was being held the same day at Hanna Park. It is a

bicycle ballet through a maze of ramps and picnic tables. Total

bike control and accuracy are scored, not speed. Contestants

must complete several untimed runs in a four-hour period.

When Tim was riding, mountain bikers stopped, suddenly

captivated by the moves of this young man. …

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