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

Tag: alcohol

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.

Read More

Jan 2

Hotline Round Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 2, 2014

You never know when you’re going to need to talk to someone.  Today we’ve put together a list of some numbers you might find helpful when you’re going through something.

Teen Line 1-800-443-8336
You can call the Teen Line 24/7 to ask any questions you have about your health or a problem in your life.  They will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.  You can also chat online with a counselor 8AM-8PM Monday through Friday.

Your Life Iowa1-855-581-8111
This 24-hour, confidential hotline is available to anyone who wants to find information about how to identify and deal with bullying or the topic of suicide. You can also text 85511 3-11PM everyday or chat online.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
This 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in a national network of more than 150 crisis centers.*

The Trevor Lifeline (for GBLTQ Youth)1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)
Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.*

National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
Sponsored by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Online Hotline is also available (click the link).*

National Runaway Hotline1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY)
24-hour crisis line. It’s anonymous, confidential and free.*

Love is Respect: National Dating Abuse Helpline1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453)
24-hour help for teens and young adults. Peer advocates are trained to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, and others.*

CDC-INFO 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or TTY 1-888-232-6348
Formerly known as the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline, counselors at this hotline sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now respond to questions about personal health issues, not just HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Available 24 hours a day, in English and Spanish.*

National STD (STI) Hotline1-800-227-8922
The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST. The American Social Health Association website offers information about sexual health, healthy relationships, STIs, and more. Check out – a site developed for teens and their parents.*

Always reach out to someone when you have a problem or just feel like you need to talk.  You are in control of your life.

*Hotline description from

Nov 7

Above the Influence

Posted By iamincontrol | November 7, 2013

So you may have heard of this site,, but have you actually used it?

Here’s a preview of why we love it…

It’s not just about an adult telling you what to do (or not do).  Above the Influence is about other teens sharing their experiences with you and sharing why they choose to remain substance free.  Check out their YouTube channel to watch stories from other teens, like this one:

Read More

Sep 10

Scary Skinny: A Supermodel Opens Up

Posted By iamincontrol | September 10, 2013

Most teenagers have opened up a magazine and thought, “Why don’t I look like these models?  How can I change myself to be more like them?”  A model’s life looks so glamorous.  But underneath, is that really the case?

Recently, a supermodel that was popular in the 80s and 90s opened up to talk about how unhealthy her lifestyle had been in the modeling industry.  After reading through some old letters from fans asking how she stayed so skinny and beautiful, Carré Otis had the courage to open up and reveal what really went on back then.

One excerpt from the article sums up her lifestyle:

So what was the truth behind Otis’s stunning figure? Vomiting, starving and drugs, she writes. Behind her sexy, flirty happiness? It was all a performance, constructed to cover up the traumas of sexual abuse, including repeated rapes by an agent. Behind her flawless skin and lush hair? Airbrushing and hair extensions, to disguise what starvation, dehydration and lack of sleep wrought.

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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 18

Top 5 Summer Safety Tips

Posted By iamincontrol | July 18, 2013

Summer 2013
Summer is the BEST.  No school, extra time with your friends, and extra time to do fun things outside.  With all this fun you’re having, remember to practice safe summer habits so you can keep having fun.  IAMincontrol has 5 important safety tips to share with you.

Top 5 Summer Safety Tips

  1. Protect against the sun. Make sure you wear sunscreen before you go outside, and be sure to reapply every couple hours.  Even if it looks cloudy out, you could still get a sunburn. (You may feel pale now, but your skin will thank you later when it isn’t all wrinkly.)  For more sun safety tips, read this article from
  2. Swim smart. Never swim alone, and never swim in flooded or fast-moving water. Always make sure there is a lifeguard on duty wherever you are.  Even if you know you’re a great swimmer, unexpected things can happen.
  3. Read More
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.
    Read More
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.

Nov 15


Posted By iamincontrol | November 15, 2012

By Alyssa

34% of Iowa high school students have never had a drink of alcohol.
61% of Iowa high school students have never smoked a cigarette.
83% of Iowa high school students have never taken a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription.

These numbers show that many Iowa teens are making healthy decisions about substance abuse.  But what about those teens who are using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs? 

Read More

Nov 15

Top 5 Surprising Facts about Alcohol

Posted By iamincontrol | November 15, 2012

Hand rejecting alcohol
By Alyssa

 You may think you know everything about alcohol already, but here are a few things that might surprise you:

  1. Sometimes it seems like every teenager is drinking, but this isn’t really the case.  In fact, in Iowa, only 37% of high school students had a drink in the last 30 days.  That means that 63% of Iowa high school students haven’t consumed any alcohol in the last 30 days.
  2. Over half of U.S. teens who start drinking before age 14 will be addicted to alcohol at some point in their life.  Only 9% of people who wait to drink until age 21 or later will be addicted to alcohol at some point.
  3. Drunk driving kills about 4,000 teens every year – on average, 158 of those deaths are in Iowa.  If you have been drinking, don’t drive after.  If you are thinking about riding with someone who has been drinking, think again.  Call a friend, a parent, or another trusted adult for a ride home.   Read More