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:

Study: Distracted Teen Drivers Calling Parents Behind Wheel

When it comes to distracted teen driving, a new study shows parents play a direct role, with many teens are actually using their cellphones to call their mother or father while behind the wheel.

According to new research presented this week at the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 122nd Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., more than half of teenage drivers often take calls from their parents while driving.

Researchers interviewed more than 400 teenage drivers ages 15 to 18 across 31 states and found that, despite warnings about the dangers of distracted driving, many teens answer their phone if it’s their parent on the other end because parents expect to be able to reach them at all times.

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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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