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:

Alcohol Abuse More Likely in Aggressive Teens

A Finnish research shows that aggressive teens are more likely to abuse alcohol than their peers.

Researchers also found that depression and anxiety usually did not lead to drinking problems in the adolescents. The study assessed the link between psychosocial problems and alcohol use among 4074 Finnish youngsters aged between 13 and 18.

The team found that 60 percent of the participants consumed alcohol and among them around 50 percent of the 15-year-olds abused liquor. No significant differences between alcohol use among boys and girls were found.

The research team noted that smoking and attention seeking issues were also to be blamed for alcohol use. Among the girls getting menstrual cycles early in life and parental divorce increased the risk of alcohol abuse.

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What Your Teens Want You to Know About Bullying

This is what your kids want you to know about the bullying experience, but might never tell you. You see, they don’t want to upset you, disappoint you, worry you and are even concerned that you might not be interested. They are wrong. I know that but they don’t.

I do not want to leave you with the impression that teens all blame the adults in their lives for the bullying behaviors of teens. Many teens reported learning empathic and pro-social behaviors from their parents. Amen to the child-rearing style in those homes. We need more of that. We need parents to realize that you are your teens’ most important role models. I have been saying this for years. Take this important opportunity in your life to teach your kids that their words and behaviors can either soothe and comfort or destroy the hearts and souls of their peers. Do not ever rule out the thought that your own child may be the bully at times and if you suspect this then work with your child to change this behavior.

We all remember own experiences being both the bullies and the bullied. None of us flourished from these experiences. In fact, many of us became emotionally and physically sick during these times. Your kids and I are calling upon you to be aware of your role and power in helping to both raise good kids and to become even more aware of the terrible interactional cycle of bullying that continues to persist in high schools all over.

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Preparing Your Teen for College: Talking About Alcohol

The teenage years are a unique time. Teens spend a lot of energy defining their identities, their peer relationships and their social roles, and they learn skills like planning for the future and understanding consequences. Not surprisingly, this is also a time when teens push limits and take risks.

Risk-taking and novelty-seeking behaviors are a common, and often healthy, part of the college experience. College students may seek out new friendships, new academic experiences, new leadership positions and new social roles. The newfound freedom may, however, present challenges for any teen, especially as they learn how to navigate the college drinking scene. Alcohol use is common on college campuses and is intimately related to risk-taking behavior. Exposure to alcohol may not be entirely new for college-bound students — in fact,¬†a 2013 national survey¬†showed that most (68.2%) of high school seniors had tried alcohol, and over half had been drunk — but the exposure may become more intense at college where students are often operating under less structure and oversight.

Fortunately, many college-bound adolescents handle these new challenges appropriately and make healthy decisions to keep themselves and their friends safe. As a parent, you can help facilitate a successful transition by opening a dialogue before your teen goes to college and then maintaining the conversation throughout his/her college years.


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