umatter

Get Healthy!

As a teenager, you have more freedom to make decisions on your own. While it may seem like it’s no big deal, the decisions you make today will impact your future. Choices like what friends you hang out with, what classes you take, whether or not you do your homework, and whether or not you use tobacco, drugs, or alcohol really do matter.

Visit the U Matter website for more information.

Only You Can Make the Decision!

Want to know the truth about tobacco, alcohol, and drug use in Columbia schools? In 2008, participating ninth and eleventh graders in Columbia public schools took a survey to determine approximately how many students were using drugs and alcohol.

  • 69% of students have never smoked a cigarette; 15% have tried a cigarette only once.
  • Only 4% of students say they smoke regularly.
  • 89% of students have never used chewing tobacco; 6% have tried chewing tobacco only once.
  • Only 1% of students say they use chewing tobacco regularly.
  • 34% of students have never drunk alcohol; 16% have tried alcohol only once.
  • 80% of students don’t think that drinking alcohol makes you look cool.
  • 72% of students have never smoked marijuana; 6% of students have tried marijuana only once.
  • 90% of students don’t think smoking marijuana makes you look cool.
  • 92% percent of students have never used inhalants.
  • 95% of students have never used ecstasy or other club drugs.

How to Say "No"

  • "I don't have time for drugs."
  • "No, it's not my style."
  • "My coach says smoking will hurt my game."
  • "Sorry, I'm on a drug-free diet."
  • "No thanks, I'm into reality."
  • "Thanks, but I have an exam tomorrow and I've been looking forward to it all week."
  • "No, I have a very busy schedule."
  • "Just keep it, don't bill me!"
  • "I don't want your life."
  • "No, I already eat too much junk food."
  • "Thanks, but some nice men in white coats told me I'm crazy enough without drugs."
  • "I'm on my way to the mall."
  • "You can't improve perfection, but thanks anyway."
  • "I'm a fruitarian, so technically that hash has been murdered..."
  • "Not today. Not tomorrow. How about never?"
  • "No, but if you have any chocolate..."
  • "I'd rather eat my mother's mystery casserole."
  • "Gee thanks, but I'm high on life."
  • "No, my imagination is good enough already."
  • "Thanks, but I'm not sure if you're ready to meet my evil twin."
  • "No, and that's my final answer!"

Alternative Activities

  • Volunteer
  • Go hiking or bicycling
  • Be a mentor
  • Get involved in a cause you are passionate about
  • Play your favorite sport
  • Start a conversation with someone you don't know
  • Discover a new talent
  • Go to a movie
  • Go shopping
  • Try a new restaurant
  • Go "window shopping" for a new car
  • Check out a local landmark or attraction
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