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

Tag: drugs

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:

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Oct 22

Finding Me

Posted By iamincontrol | October 22, 2013

Finding me
By Anonymous

High school was a memorable time for me.  I learned so much about who I was as a person and who I wanted to be.  I learned what I wanted to surround myself with in life, and I have my ex-friends to thank for that.

Ever since kindergarten, about eight of us girls were inseparable…until junior year of high school.  Partying started to get in the way of our solid friendship.  We all stayed in touch until about senior year.  My two best friends from the group decided to start smoking pot.  They even tried other drugs such as cocaine.  I was fortunate enough to have the guts to say no whenever they asked me to try.  They knew I didn’t like it, so eventually, they started to try and hide it from me.  They acted like they didn’t do it at all, but I found out through other people.

When we graduated from high school, we all went our separate ways to different colleges.  Because we weren’t together anymore, they were on their own and one of my girlfriends started trying dangerous drugs.  I personally watched her life go downhill.  This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to witness in my life.  I had to watch my best friend of twelve years throw her amazing life away.  She got arrested and charged with a couple different offenses.  She got herself into a situation where she started dealing just so she could have sex.  The things she did were unimaginable.  I cried myself to sleep thinking and praying for her to get help, but it just never seemed to work.  She even got herself into a romantic situation where she was abused and couldn’t get out of the relationship.  Who knew something that didn’t happen to me, could affect me so much.

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Oct 10

The ABC’s of Synthetics

Posted By iamincontrol | October 10, 2013

By Bobbie Jo

K2, Bath Salts, and Spice, they sound like things you’d find in your own home, right? These are actually some of the latest synthetic drugs. When we hear synthetic we often think fake, but these drugs are not fake! They are man-made chemicals designed to mimic the effects of other illegal drugs like marijuana, hallucinogens and amphetamines. The sole purpose of these drugs is to get the user high.

The manufacturers have used some tricky marketing tactics to make the users think these drugs are harmless. They’ve started by calling them incense, potpourri and bath salts. They’ve also put labeling on the packages like, “not for human consumption,” and “not for persons under the age of 18.” These labels allow the makers to get around requirements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

So why are these drugs dangerous? First, the contents of the package are often unknown. Like street drugs, nobody is monitoring what the consistency or strength of these drugs is or what other dangerous chemicals are being added. Possible effects of using these drugs include vomiting, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

What is the legal status? That is often a confusing question, because when these drugs first came out they were actually legal. However, since then the state and federal government has put a ban on chemicals used to make synthetic drugs. The punishment would be the same as someone who is caught buying, selling or using marijuana. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturers are changing the chemical compounds to get around the law.

The bottom line is that synthetic drugs are not fake, and they can pose real health risk to the users, including death.

Check out David’s Story:

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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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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