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:

Teen Drivers Swayed by Risk-Accepting Riders

A new study shows that teen drivers are strongly influenced by their teen passengers’ attitudes toward driving, especially those passengers who openly condone risky driving behaviors, according to new research published in the journal Health Psychology.

The findings showed that male teen drivers took more risks in a driving simulator when they believed that their passenger approved of reckless driving.

Data has long shown that driving with peers significantly increases the odds of car accident deaths for teens, particularly males.

In fact, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a teen driver’s risk of death per mile increases by 44 percent with one teen passenger in the car and quadruples with three or more teen passengers.

But until now, researchers have been unable to pinpoint exactly why some teens’ driving behaviors spin out of control in the presence of friends.

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Are YouTube Videos With Alcohol Dangerous?

A new study shows popular YouTube videos make light of alcohol

Prior research has suggested that teen media exposure to alcohol, whether through TV shows or movies, could influence their drinking behaviors. Now, a new study suggests that online videos may also be a site for negative exposure.

In the new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a team of researchers watched 70 of the most popular videos on YouTube related to intoxication in order to see what kinds of messages they were sending.

To do that, the researchers searched for the terms “drunk,” “buzzed,” “hammered,” “tipsy,” and “trashed” and chose the most popular and relevant videos in those categories. In order to characterize the videos, they coded each one for a variety of factors, like how much alcohol was depicted, who the characters were and whether the video showed consequences of binge drinking. Overall, the videos contained more men than women, and usually depicted a specific brand. Rarely did the videos show poor side effects like withdrawal.

The videos with the most “likes” tended to be funny, and the overall vibe of the video was upbeat and positive when a specific brand was mentioned. Hard alcohol was the most common beverage featured, even though beer is the most common alcoholic beverage consumed in the United States, the authors note.

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6 Lessons About Sex That Teen Boys Need but Don’t Get

There’s little frank discussion about love, treating a romantic partner with respect, and making sure your relationship is about something other than sex. Some parents may successfully teach beyond that awkwardness, but many teen boys are left with what they learn from their peers (who may exaggerate their romantic exploits) and what they can figure out from watching TV and movies (and yes, porn).