Tobacco

Cigarettes, cigars, dip, chew – contains the drug nicotine


Nicotine addiction is said to be as hard to quit as heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. Cigarettes are also expensive! Even just one pack a week will cost you $312 per year. Giving up a pack-a-day habit would free up over $3,000!

  • Arsenic (used for rat poison)
  • Ammonia (toliet bowl cleaner)
  • Carbon Monoxide (car exhaust)
  • Tar (roofing)
  • Nicotine (poison bug sprays)

“My friend told me that smoking made you look cool and sexy to guys. I really wanted to impress this hot guy in my English class, so I started smoking with her after school. My plan backfired when my crush saw me smoking and said he thought kissing a girl that smoked was like licking an ashtray.”
Taylor, 15

Teen smoking

Resources

Alcohol

Beer, wine, wine coolers, mixed drinks


Alcohol drastically reduces your ability to make good decisions. It also impairs your ability to see, walk, and talk. You can DIE from an alcohol overdoes. The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower will not help.

Roughly 4,300 people are killed each year due to teen alcohol use – more than all other drugs combined.  Car crashes are the leading cause of death in teenagers, and one in four car crashes with teenagers involve an underage drunk driver.

mothers against drunk driving (madd), 2019

“The first (and only) time I got drunk, I played strip poker with a bunch of guys and ended up only wearing my underwear. The next day at school, boys were looking at me and whispering. People were calling me a slut. I spent 3rd period crying in the bathroom wishing that I could take it back. I haven’t drunk alcohol since that night and now I hear stories about other girls and am just glad that the stories aren’t about me.”
Rachel, 15

Sex

Intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, outercourse – all sexual contact


Sex is one of the easiest ways to contract and spread diseases. Many STDs have no symptoms and can be spread to many people without even knowing it. Having sex before you are ready, or with someone you don’t love and trust can damage you emotionally as well as physically, and may produce an unwanted baby.

“I started going out with one of the most popular guys in school, and I was so in love with him. He always told me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me and wanted to share everything with me by having sex. I finally gave in and had sex with him. The next week he began avoiding me and wouldn’t return my calls. By the end of the week he broke up with me. What is even worse is that I found out he slept with other girls and I got herpes from having sex with him just one time. Even though he has moved on, I am going to be stuck with this disease for the rest of my life.”
Jessica, 16

Drugs

Marijuana, ecstasy, acid, cocaine, rohypnol, GHB


When someone is on drugs, they are more likely to do things that they would never do otherwise.

“My friend got some acid from his older brother and I decided to try it. I have a phobia of snakes and the acid made me hallucinate that there were snakes in all of the trees and on the ground. I took a stick and tried to beat the snakes away from my legs. My friend tried to tell me that it wasn’t real, but I couldn’t tell. I ran around screaming and crying. I have never been so afraid in my life. I had to wait it out; there was nothing I could do to get rid of the acid. It was the longest night of my life. I ended up with bruises all over my legs and the people from the party still laugh at me all the time.”
Jason, 18

Violence

Bullying, gangs, fights, dating violence


It is NEVER ok for someone to physically hurt you or abuse you in any way. Love shouldn’t hurt. However, teen dating violence affects millions of teens in the U.S. each year.  Nearly one in eleven female and one in fifteen male teens in America reported experiencing physical dating violence in the last year.  Twenty-six percent of women and fifteen percent of men experienced intimate partner violence for the first time before the age of 18.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019)

“I’ve never really gotten along with girls and have always had a lot of guy friends. After I started dating my boyfriend, my best friend got really jealous and couldn’t understand why I was spending so much time with my boyfriend. We all ended up at a party one night and my best friend drank a lot of beer. He started yelling at my boyfriend and me about how we didn’t belong together and he was in love with me. After his outburst, he started a fight with my boyfriend and hit him in the face. It was so scary to see how violent he got when he was drunk.”
Olivia, 16

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