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:

Teenagers: How to Stay Healthy

Will the habits I have now really make a difference when I’m older?

Yes, 65% of all deaths in adults are caused by heart disease, cancer and stroke. In many cases, these diseases were preventable. Many of the behaviors that cause these diseases begin at a young age. For example, if you use tobacco as a teenager, you’re more likely to get heart disease, cancer or stroke when you’re an adult.

What can I do now to keep myself healthy?

  • Avoid using any type of tobacco product. Try not to breathe second hand cigarette smoke.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Always use your seat belt.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Don’t get into a car with a driver who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs.
  • Wear protective headgear, such as motorcycle or bike helmets, when participating in sports.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Talk to your parents or your doctor if you’re feeling really sad or if you’re thinking about harming yourself.
  • Avoid situations where violence or fighting may cause you to be physically injured.
  • If you have sex, use condoms to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. (Remember, however, the “safest” sex is no sex.)
  • See your doctor regularly

Read more: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/teens/safety-prevention/teenagers-how-to-stay-healthy.printerview.all.html


New study: teen smoking down, online activity up

The CDC surveyed over 12,000 teens last year and what they found can be considered a bit shocking. Health professionals recommend teens get just a couple of hours of screen time per day but according to recent findings, they’re getting nearly double that.

41% of teens say they play video games, search the web or cling to their cell phone for 3 or more hours daily opposed to doing homework. Experts feel the use of social media is what drives them, which eventually can give a teen extended adolescence.

“When kids focus more on technology and virtuality they’re not doing things in the real world so much and they get to have more time in fantasy land,” Dr. Cheryl Kaiser of Insight Psychotherapy Service.

Read more: http://www.walb.com/story/26018781/new-study-teen-smoking-down-online-activity-up

Teen Driving: Safety First

Research from a highway safety group shows that while teens need to be driving the safest cars, they are actually driving the most dangerous ones.  Chris Clackum reports.

Research from a highway safety group shows the people who need to be driving the safest cars, are actually driving the most dangerous ones.

The small, cheaper used car has long been the go-to vehicle for new teenage drivers, mainly due to its affordability.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently said, however, that many of those cars are not safe.

“They’re driving vehicles that don’t provide good crash protection and many drive vehicles that don’t have many safety technologies,” said Anne McCartt of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Read more: http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/story/d/story/teen-driving-safety-first/20138/jOwwyzg2kk207oXO-NWv7Q