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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Topic: Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs

Sep 5

What the Hookah?

Posted By iamincontrol | September 5, 2013

By Bobbie Jo

Hookah? How do you even pronounce it? What is it? Hookahs (hook·ah) are water pipes used to smoke tobacco in a variety of flavors. Hookahs have been used in the Middle East for centuries, but have become very popular in the United States recently. There is a myth that it is safe to smoke hookah because a person uses a water pipe and the water “cleans” out the harmful chemicals. FALSE! A person smoking hookah is breathing in the same harmful chemicals as a cigarette smoker, but at a much greater rate because of the higher rate of toxins. In addition the charcoal used to heat tobacco in the hookah increases the health risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.

Hookah smokers have the same health risks as cigarette users such as: oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function and decreased fertility. Also, because there is nicotine in hookah, there is the potential for addiction. The mouthpiece of the hookah pipe is shared between multiple users which increases the risk for herpes, influenza and other infectious diseases.

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Aug 8

Seven out of ten? Are you one?

Posted By iamincontrol | August 8, 2013

No alcohol please!
By Bobbie Jo

Did you know, seven out of ten people say they talk to their car and seven out of ten teens say studying is their number one stress?

Also, did you know, seven out of ten eleventh graders in Iowa do NOT drink alcohol?

We often hear the phrase “everybody is doing it,” when in reality, everybody is not doing it! According to the Iowa Youth Survey, 74% of juniors in high school reported that they did not drink alcohol in the past 30 days and 96% reported not binge drinking in the past 30 days (that’s 5 or more drinks in a row). The research shows us that the majority of high school and middle school students do not consume alcohol.

So why do we hear people talking about it at school, in the halls or on social media? There are a few different reasons for that. Some people may say they do things that they aren’t doing just to sound cool or fit in with a group. Stories about parties are often much more dramatic and get talked about more often than the stories of people hanging out watching a movie or going to a basketball game. Because of this it may seem like everybody was at the party, when in fact they were not. We also have to look at our circle of friends. Just because somebody in our circle is doing something, doesn’t mean everyone is doing it.

There are millions of teen who choose not to drink alcohol or use drugs. Visit to hear about some of them.

You are in control of your choices.

Jul 4

Is Marijuana Medicine?

Posted By iamincontrol | July 4, 2013

Medical Marijuana
By Bobbie Jo

By now you’ve probably heard on the news, read on the internet or have even heard in the halls at school people talking about “medical marijuana.” So the big question, is marijuana medicine? The simple answer is no.

First we have to review how something becomes a medicine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the group in charge of allowing things to become medicines, rigorous testing has to be done, and the benefits of the medicine must outweigh the harms. It can take between ten and fifteen years for something to become a medicine. The FDA’s job is the make sure these products are safe for consumers (that’s you and me!). The FDA has not approved marijuana as medicine, and in fact, it’s classified as a Schedule 1 Substance. Schedule 1 Substances currently have no accepted medical use in the United States and have a high potential for abuse.

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Jun 6

DRUGS! They Determined My Life

Posted By iamincontrol | June 6, 2013

Drugs determined my life
By Noraa

When I was younger, I was a normal kid.  I went outside, hung out with my friends, and just had fun. I had yet to realize that drugs had taken a toll on my life. I remember one day seeing a lady and a man walking down the street. I was playing jump rope with my friends as these people approached us. They greeted me like they knew me. Of course I knew of them, but I didn’t know them. She would tell my friends she was my mom, and I would run in the house embarrassed. All my friends knew this woman walked the streets day and night, looking for what she needed to survive. That day was the day my mom told me that I was adopted. The lady I had been seeing was a drug addict. I was kind of saddened, but yet I still didn’t understand.  I had been taken away from my mother who could not take care of me. She chose drugs, something that didn’t last very long and that could kill her, instead of her kids. I tried to understand the why in all of this. All I knew was that I didn’t want any part in it. I promised myself that I would never go down that road no matter what struggles I went through.

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May 2

Marijuana: What’s the Big Deal?

Posted By iamincontrol | May 2, 2013

Marijuana - what's the big deal?
By Bobbie Jo

So, you’ve heard it’s all natural, it’s medicine, and it’s no big deal. Colorado and Washington have even made it legal. With all the things you’re hearing about marijuana it can be hard to determine what’s real and what’s not.

Here is the low-down on marijuana: it’s a mind-altering substance that impacts the way the brain works. Marijuana’s job is to get someone high, and it does just that. It also affects the brain in other ways. Marijuana affects coordination, decision making, judgment and perception. For example, you’ve recently used marijuana with a friend and now have to drive home. Coordination, judgment and perception are crucial when it comes to driving. Your perception is off, so you think the stop sign is twenty feet in front of you, but it’s actually only ten.  Or you think you can pass the car that is driving slowly in front of you, but your judgment is impaired and you don’t notice another car coming toward you.

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Apr 4

A Second Look at Life

Posted By iamincontrol | April 4, 2013

By Kelsy

My life was going great. I had a great family and friends. Life was going in the right direction. However things just started to turn around and head towards a place I had never been before. Have you ever felt lost, confused or hopeless about everything in your life? Because I started to.

Towards the beginning of my junior year of high school I started to just feel blah all the time. I started to experience feeling of sadness. I thought it was normal, you know when you just get into a funk. But then I started thinking what was the point in life, I was hopeless about life. I started questioning my life and where I was heading. I began to push my friends and family away. My mother learned that she was pregnant and both my parents were going through accepting that they were going to be parents again, I didn’t want to bother them with what I was feeling. I remember just arguing with them about the dumbest things that didn’t even matter. I felt so isolated, so alone.

I am not the type of person to express my feelings, so I was never able to open up to anybody. I felt emotionless and was so annoyed by everyone. I wanted to feel something, anything so maybe somebody would notice how much trouble I was having with everything. I wanted to feel pain. I no longer cared if I lived or died. So I started to overdose on pain medication which does nothing but give you a stomachache and destroy the lining of your liver.  I did this a couple of times, always ending up on the floor of the bathroom throwing everything up. At this point it seemed like it could only go downhill for me.

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Apr 2

Top 10 Tips for Having a Fun & Safe Prom Night

Posted By iamincontrol | April 2, 2013

The results are in!  Last month’s poll was:

What are you looking forward to most on prom night?

You guys said…

  • Dancing the night away (55%)
  • Spending a romantic evening with my date (11%)
  • The before and after party (11%)
  • Dressing up (11%)
  • I’m not looking forward to anything (11%)

Prom night will probably be one of the things you remember most about high school, so here are some ways to make sure your prom night is full of good memories and not regret.

  1. First, remember to have fun!  Surround yourself with friends who will dance and laugh the night away with you.
  2. Remember that you don’t need a date to have a good time.  Going with a group of friends can be just as fun and can be less pressure.
  3. Charge your cell phone and keep it with you at all times.  You will need it to communicate with both your friends and your parents or guardians.
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Mar 7

What Do You Throw Away When You Drink?

Posted By iamincontrol | March 7, 2013

IAMincontrol wants to let you know there’s a new site about teen drinking called  What Do You Throw Away was created to address the problem of underage drinking in Iowa.  Surveys show that it’s the number one drug abused by teens statewide, so this site is here to give you the real truth about how dangerous it can be.

Here are some things you can do when you check out this cool new resource:

  • Share your stories about drinking and tell other teens why you choose to be alcohol-free.
  • Make your own bottle cap to illustrate what you personally throw away when you drink.  Here’s mine – throwing away the trust from my parents:

  • Get help – What Do You Throw Away has the name and phone number of every treatment or prevention center in Iowa.
  • Take a quiz to test your knowledge about underage drinking.

Think about what you will be throwing away before you drink.  Remember that you are in control of your actions, and you can choose to stay sober.

Feb 7

Study Drugs

Posted By iamincontrol | February 7, 2013

By AlyssaStudy drugs

Often prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, and others are being used more and more by teens who don’t actually have ADHD.  They’re being used as “study drugs” that are supposed to help you concentrate and study more.  Sounds great, right?


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Jan 3

Tobacco Use and High School Students

Posted By iamincontrol | January 3, 2013

Is tobacco use socially acceptable among high school students?

Here’s what one Iowa high school student thinks… 

“As a student in high school, I feel as if every recurring school year, tobacco use is becoming more popular (mostly in males). As a junior in high school I am taking Heath II, and recently we discussed in large about smoking and tobacco use. I have been involved with youth against tobacco since middle school, but I learned a lot I didn’t know already know during this Health II class. As I learned so many things I didn’t know, I became more “disgusted” and frightened with the idea of all the things that could be harmful to my classmates involved with tobacco. Going through these lessons in Health, I knew many friends in the class who were users of tobacco, and I thought to myself that this could finally be the key to getting through to those who used tobacco – showing them all the harmful things that could or was happening to them! (Especially from a teacher and not just a group of kids.) I soon learned that it was likely not working. They still thought it “wouldn’t happen to them” and that using tobacco was okay. In my mind set, if that didn’t get through to them what would?! How did using tobacco become so normal? And why is it acceptable for high school students?”

Does it feel like this at your school too?  Share this on your Facebook wall or Twitter feed and see what your friends think!