Welcome to UMatter

Only you can make the decision not to use tobacco, alcohol or drugs. This Web site is designed to give you the facts about tobacco, alcohol and drug use in Columbia. It will also provide you with resources to find factual information about the effects of alcohol and drugs, real stories from teenagers like yourself and answer any questions you might have.

Recent Posts:

Bullying – How to Defend Yourself Without Violence

Standing up to bullies doesn’t mean you have to have a physical fight with them. Most of the time, you don’t have to fight. There are almost always more effective ways to deal with bullies — ways that are better for you.

Sometimes, though, people feel they need to (or want to) fight a bully. They may feel that they are being physically threatened right at that moment and need to protect themselves. They may think fighting back will teach the bully a lesson or be the best way to escape. Some people may feel pressured by others to fight back when they don’t really want to. That’s never a good reason to fight.

There’s no easy answer to the question about when someone should fight back physically. Some bullies don’t actually want to fight. They just like to intimidate others. Other bullies back down without a fight if the person they’re targeting stands up to them. But some bullies like to get into a fight. They might like to cause pain to others — or feel pain themselves.

Fighting can get dangerous. A fight can lead to serious injuries. The bully might have a weapon. Fighting may make the bully feel he or she has to come back later with a weapon or friends to help — and the whole thing can get out of control.

Read more:http://teenshealth.org/teen/your_mind/problems/fight_bullies.html

Mental Health Problems in Teens

Sometimes teens are afraid to talk about stuff because they are afraid that people will think they are crazy. That’s because mental illness is still feared and misunderstood by many people. The sad thing is this prevents them from finding out how common and normal their struggles are. Even sadder, it means that when people are actually experiencing a mental illness it prevents them from receiving the kinds of help that will allow them to get better.

On this site we talk about both “mental illness” and “mental health problems”. There’s a difference between the two. When we say mental illness, we mean a diagnosable condition, like Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or Schizophrenia, that usually requires medical treatment. “Mental health problems” refers to the more common struggles and difficulties that affect everybody from time to time. Teens experiencing these types of problems may not require medical treatment, but can still benefit from some of the help and support that we talk about on this site.

Mental illness is still feared and misunderstood by many people. Accurate information about mental illnesses and their treatment can help correct the fears, myths and misconceptions many people have.

Read more: http://www.cmha.ca/highschool/s_mhp.htm

Tobacco, Drugs & Alcohol

Before anyone ever takes a puff, a hit, or a drink, there is a decision made – a healthy or an unhealthy decision. Sometimes making the healthy choice is hard because you may be stressed, angry, or pressured.

However, learning the facts about drugs and alcohol can help you make informed decisions about your health. In this section you’ll learn about tobacco, drugs, and alcohol and how they affect the body and mind.

Alcohol is the most commonly used drug. If you make careless decisions regarding alcohol, you may be faced with serious consequences – including possible jail time, suspension of your driver’s license, injury, or even death.

Sobering Facts

Recent statistics on college campuses nation wide show that alcohol is involved in:

  • About 65 percent of all violent behavior.
  • Almost 50 percent of all physical injuries.
  • About 30 percent of all emotional difficulties among students.
  • Almost 30 percent of all academic problems.

Read more: http://www.pamf.org/teen/risk/alcohol/