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

Tag: addiction

Dec 30

New Year, Let the Resolutions begin: Top Ten News Years Resolutions for Teens

Posted By iamincontrol | December 30, 2014

The New Year is fast approaching and that means its time to think of your New Years Resolution. IAMinControl is coming at ya with a Top Ten New Years Resolutions to ease your way into the New Year.

Top Ten New Years Resolutions for Teens

Have a Good Relationship with My Body- Enjoy parts of your body and embrace what’s been given.

  1. Change my Attitude about Food-Treat food as something needed to nourish your body, so do those Cheetos® do the trick or that apple?
  2. Stay in touch- a 2010 study showed that if you don’t have a connection to social ties and they are broken you are more prone to mental health issues.
  3. Exercise More- We all know that exercise helps with our health but also makes us feel good about our selves.
  4. Volunteer- A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions (such as volunteering) were 20% less like to have a heart attack and were more resilient and resourceful
  5. Get more sleep-Lack of sleep causes your skin to age, forget things, gain weight, makes you dumber.
  6. Set goals for ourselves- It’s easy to accomplish things when we have goals. It’s also meta to set goals as your new years resolution. Right?
  7. Have more confidence-join a group at school, ask someone to hang out, make more friends
  8. Cut toxic people out of my life- Negative people can bring you down, identify if they are needed in your life. Parents do NOT count.
  9. Spend less time on Twitter, Instagram, and Kik-Studies show that increase time on social media can lead to depression and other things 


    Now its time for you to decide, but let us know what you do decide. Our poll next month will ask:


    Does your New Years Resolution involve?

  1.  Nutrition (Cut back on drinking energy drinks and/or soda,  Eat less Cheetos, etc)
  2. Body Image (be happy when I look in the mirror, embrace my love handles, etc.)
  3. Mental Health (smile more, look up Classic Joke Wednesday on Ellen and share them, etc.)
  4. Exercise (Dance around to “Shake it Off” by T. Swift for thirty minutes a day)
  5. Sexual Health (Find out about different contraceptives, figure out how to use a condom)
  6. Life Skills  (Start a savings, embrace my haters, etc )
Dec 16

Red Bulls® on Monsters® On Red Bulls®: Filling UP your tank with other things.

Posted By iamincontrol | December 16, 2014

Red Bull-gives you wings®? Monster-Unleash the Beast®? These are some of the slogans that the energy of the energy drinks use to their drinkers. Energy drink consumption has increased over the years especially among teens. But more and more information is coming out about its effects. These “uplifting” drinks are actually linked to depression. So, when they say it is bringing you up, FALSE ADVERTISING. According to Poison Control, in three months June-August 2014, over 700 cases of energy overdose occurred in teens—that’s a whole lot.

Here’s what one person had to say about their need for caffeine:

“What I soon began to notice is that when I actually ate my fruits and vegetables, I had a lot more energy than when I grabbed chips and dip with pop. Looking back I never figured out why the vegetables worked better than the pop; we all know that pop contains caffeine and that should give us energy, right? Wrong! The nutrients in fruits and vegetables are so important for endurance, performance, and stamina. Turns out everything I thought Gatorade was doing for my recovery, fruits and vegetables actually do. Too bad no one tells us this in commercials or something we see every day, otherwise I probably would have paid attention more to what I was eating.” -Danielle

Five servings of fruits and vegetables is the recommendation. That may seem like a lot, but there are so many ways to sneak in all kinds without even noticing. Homemade fruit smoothies jam-packed with as many fruits and vegetables you can fit could satisfy the guideline in just one meal. When mixed with everything else, you might not even notice you are eating them. So next time you go for that Red Bull®, think twice about what it is actually doing, it’s not giving you wings.

Nov 6

E-cigarettes or a Magical Harry Potter Wand?: A Deeper Look

Posted By iamincontrol | November 6, 2014

On my morning homage to the local coffee house, I noticed a man standing outside on the street with a strange looking mythical pencil. At first glance, I thought this man was carrying a wand from Diagon Alley ready to cast a spell on anyone who mis-stepped. But rather than raising his wand as I neared, he put the thing to his mouth, inhaled, and let out a puff of fog. What the what?! I realized that this man was actually smoking with what I now know as an e-cigarette. I had to find out more about these half-wand/half-electronic cigarettes!

So, there is a cartridge that contains nicotine and long chemical names like, glycerin or polyethylene glycol. Both these chemicals can be found in anti-freeze, which belong in cars– not human bodies. Basically, something heats the liquid in the cartridge (often called “e-juice”) to its boiling point and that becomes vapor you can inhale. That is why smoking e-cigarettes is often called “vaping.” Remember the cheesy fog machine you had at your homecoming dance this fall? It’s the same principle.

Still, what are the effects of such wands on Muggles like us? After a deeper look, the companies that put these e-cigs out do not even tell people what’s in the e-juice. So basically that gives us about the same knowledge as ripping off the label of your mother’s favorite bathroom cleaner and saying it’s e-juice.  In addition, in the first big study of e-cigs, researchers found out that e-cigs do not help people quit smoking and that the vapor has harmful effects on your lungs. So after a deeper look, e-cigs are indeed  magical wands made to cast a spell on people to ensure addiction to their harmful effects.

Sep 4

Just Think Twice

Posted By iamincontrol | September 4, 2014

just think twice

Today we’re sharing a great resource called Just Think Twice.  This site is dedicated to giving you the facts on drugs and what their consequences could be.

Some of the cool features of the site include:

  • Facts & Fiction – Some of the things you may think are “facts” about drugs are actually myths, and they get busted here.
  • Consequences – Learn about what some of the consequences of using drugs could be, and read some true, tragic stories about their effects.
  • Teens to Teens – Members of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education’s (D.A.R.E.’s) Youth Advisory Board blog each month about a new topic.

Visit the site to find more resources and features.  Also, check out the IAMincontrol blog posts below to read about more real-life experiences with drugs and alcohol.

Alcohol: Not a Game
How Marijuana Affected My Relationship
Out of Control
DRUGS! They Determined My Life

Jul 3

Conflicting Values: Marijuana

Posted By iamincontrol | July 3, 2014

By Jamie

When I was in my junior and senior year of high school, I dated a guy who smoked a lot of pot. I hated this because I was against drug use. I didn’t like it because it was illegal and it is bad for you. Why would you intentionally get high on a regular basis if you didn’t need to for medical purposes? It directly affected me because I was worried about him. I knew he had random drug tests at work, and I didn’t want him to get in trouble with the law. I also didn’t like being around him when he was high.

Even though I wasn’t the one smoking marijuana, I was still affected by it. He knew it bothered me when he smoked, so he started hiding it from me. That led to trust issues because I knew he was lying to me when he would say he “quit” or hadn’t smoked in days. I knew when he was lying, and that led to other issues. Even though he was trying to keep me happy and just keep me out of the loop from his drug use, I didn’t appreciate all the sneaking around. Because of this, I learned that there is only so much you can do as a friend and a loved one.

If there is something that is really affecting someone you love, you may need to get help from other people. I learned that addiction is hard. Just because he didn’t quit for me doesn’t mean he didn’t care about me. Luckily, he doesn’t smoke on a regular basis anymore. We are no longer dating, but I like to keep in touch and remain good friends.

I would recommend visiting the following website about how to help a friend with their substance use. You may also be interested in how to help a friend quit smoking.  It’s about tobacco, but some of the recommendations apply to quitting other things too.

Jun 3

New Tobacco Products

Posted By iamincontrol | June 3, 2014

By Garin

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

Which form of tobacco is used the most in your school?

You guys said:

  • Traditional cigarettes (33%)
  • E-cigarettes (0%)
  • Chewing tobacco (33%)
  • Other (i.e. cigars, Orbs, etc.) (0%)
  • No one uses tobacco, it’s pot (33%)

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. Putting smoke in your body isn’t a good idea no matter what’s burning. Sucking (chewing) on tobacco isn’t a great idea either. If you’re between 14 and 25, you also know that “Big Tobacco” is a bunch of companies that make tobacco, and they are big fat liars. They’ve lied to people for like a billion years so that people would smoke/chew, get addicted, and then the companies would make money. So what is Big Tobacco doing now to make their money? Let’s find out.

First, they are still selling cigarettes and chew. They may say now that tobacco isn’t safe, but they aren’t removing all their “killer” products from the shelves (just go down to your local gas station if you don’t believe me). What they’re doing now is trying to get you addicted to their ‘new’ products so they can continue to take your money. Let’s look at a few examples and see where the truth lies. Then you can decide for yourself if jumping into using tobacco is really as great as Big Tobacco says it is.

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May 29

Surviving Sexual Assault

Posted By iamincontrol | May 29, 2014

serious teen girl
By Jessica

The summer before my junior year was when my life changed forever. I was raped by someone that I had trusted with my most precious memories. My two-year relationship ended because my boyfriend couldn’t look at me the same. When school started back up in the fall, I ended up having two classes with my rapist. I still remember when he ran into me in the hall and told me to “Smile.” My friend who had been in the other room when it happened started telling kids in our high school. People would whisper behind my back, and I knew I was being judged. Even around my few true friends I felt different. I started pulling away from everyone. Friends, coworkers, even family. I kept falling deeper into this black hole that I didn’t think I could ever climb out of. That’s when I started drinking and experimenting with drugs. There wasn’t a day that went by that I stayed sober, and I couldn’t differentiate between school days, work nights, or weekends. There was no difference to me. I started cutting my ankles. Then I got arrested for driving while intoxicated.

To be able to get this incident expunged from my record, part of my agreement with the courts was to talk to a therapist. For the first few sessions I wouldn’t speak, and then I began to open up. We talked about school, my family, my feelings, my substance abuse and finally the rape. My counselor helped me realize that I was not alone. I had friends and family that I could talk to and that could help me get through what had happened to me. I quit drinking and I quit all the drugs that I had tried. It was hard but by the time I turned 18, I had beat my substance abuse.

What I learned was that I was NOT alone, and if I had realized that earlier, maybe I could have avoided everything that had piled up after the rape. Always remember that no matter what happens, you are never ever alone, and you ARE a survivor. Today I look at my scars and I know I AM A SURVIVOR. I am now in control.

Mar 20

Battling Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | March 20, 2014

Depressed teenage girl
By Jenna

One day you wake up, and you’re just not the same. Depression hit me hard my freshman year of high school. I started to see myself in a whole different manner, and suddenly, my life was spinning out of control. Feeling empty, worthless, and sad became a part of my everyday life. It was the beginning of the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life.

To escape what became my ugly reality, I began cutting for emotional release. To me, feeling physical pain felt better than the emotional pain. It was an addiction. I hated myself and believed that I screwed up everything. Nobody could tell me any differently; I just couldn’t believe that I was loved by anyone or that anybody would care if I were gone. The worst part of the whole thing was that nobody knew I was suffering except me. I would come home from school and cry for hours. If crying didn’t make me feel better, I’d cut myself just enough to numb my pain for a while. Then, I’d put a “mask” back on and pretend like everything was fine again.

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Mar 6

Who I Was and Who I am

Posted By iamincontrol | March 6, 2014

Teen girl
By Kallie

For many people, high school means trying to fit in and doing what other kids are doing to fit in.  In middle school I was overweight and because of that I was picked on.  I had friends, but I was not in the “popular group.” Before starting high school I lost all my extra weight and I was proud of myself.  I had a new look for myself and had more self-confidence.  All of a sudden I was in the popular group and now I was doing the bullying.  I felt like I had to do what my new friends were doing, so I could stay with the in crowd.

Before I knew it I was making decisions just to stay in the popular crowd that I know my mom and dad did not raise me to make.  I was drinking on a daily basis, and I even picked up smoking.  I lied to my parents and lost their trust.  When I started college I regularly skipped classes.  At this point in my life I had hit rock bottom.  My boyfriend of three years broke up with me, I failed classes, and my drinking led me to an OWI.  As a result of my OWI I lost my license and had to spend time in jail (possibly affecting my chance of getting a job in the future).   At this point I needed to assess my life and change the direction I was going.

I decided I needed to change my whole life and just focus on me.  I needed to figure out what was important in my life and strive to achieve things, like my schooling.  I focused all my attention on my studies and myself.  I joined a gym and worked out on a daily basis.  I quit drinking alcohol, along with pop.  The only places I usually went were school, the gym, and my house.  I once again lost a bunch of weight and had more self-confidence, along with a better overall feeling about myself.  Everyone will make mistakes in their life, but the important part is that you learn from the mistakes and better your future.  I have now graduated with my Dental Hygiene degree and am about to graduate with my bachelor’s degree.  Be the person you want to be and not the person someone else wants you to be just to fit in with the popular crowd.

Feb 25

Forgiving My Family

Posted By iamincontrol | February 25, 2014

Forgiving my family
By Hannah

Family is such a gift, and I didn’t realize it until I felt like I had lost it for good.

I grew up in Arizona. Until I was fifteen, my family was very happy. Right after I turned fifteen, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my father quit his job of sixteen years, and their marriage began to crumble. Both of my parents were very busy trying to handle their own struggles, so I, at sixteen, became the primary parent of my little brother and sister. My mother began disappearing for weeks at a time, and my father did the same. He had struggled with alcoholism for my entire life, but this was when it became extreme.

He came to me on a Thursday night, and told me that we would be moving to his hometown in North Iowa on Monday morning, and that I was not allowed to say anything to my mother (if I saw her) or my siblings. We left our home, full of our things and our memories and our love, on that Monday morning and never returned. We left my mom with all of those things along with emptiness and fear, and I didn’t have any contact with her for almost three years after that day.

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