Posted on in Information for Teens
A teen’s personal view on choosing a role model
Do you feel like you are going through a period in your life where you are trying to figure out who you really are, or who you want to become? Or are you at the age where you try to become someone else, simply to impress others? This is a normal stage for teens and preteens to be going through. You are searching for your true identity and looking to others for direction and guidance. It is during this time in your life when you are seeking out potential role models, whether it be your parents, teachers, movie stars, singers, or star athletes.
Walk into any teenager’s room and you are likely to come across posters of teen idols wearing too much makeup and too little clothing. If this sounds like a familiar sight when you walk into your own bedroom, you’re not alone. Your walls are likely plastered with posters of singers like Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, or the Jonas Brothers. Or maybe you are interested in sports celebrities such as Kobe Bryant, Anna Kournikova, Sidney Crosby, or Lisa Leslie. No matter who it is you look up to, these individuals act as role models for many youngsters around the world. Their actions, beliefs, values, and fashion sense are imitated by millions, as teens want to act like, dress like, and be like their idols.
So what exactly is a role model anyway? A role model can be any person who is looked up to and imitated by others. A good role model would have high moral standards, good family values, and act and behave appropriately. Someone with that confident, independent, “I’m in control of my own life” vibe. Another important feature we look for in a role model is someone who is hard working. Pop star Taylor Swift is a great example of what a celebrity role model should be like. She expresses her belief that she has a sense of responsibility to her fans, she expresses what she loves and how she feels, and she does not wear extremely suggestive clothing, as many celebs often do.
It’s easy to create a list of characteristics that would be great for a role model to possess, but no one is perfect. With all the new up-and-coming celebrities competing to be recognized, the positive qualities a role model may hold are often abandoned in favor of the sexy, rebellious and standout behaviours that grab your attention and influence you the most. So what kind of images and ideas are today’s hottest celebrities representing to teenagers? What are your celebrity role model’s good and bad qualities, and is his or her overall image going to help you, or hurt you?
While singer Brittany Spears may be a great entertainer, she may not be the best choice for a role model. Although Spears is a sweet and caring person, her unpredictable behavior and revealing style of dress is often an issue, as many young and preteen girls idolize her, wanting to dress, act, and be just like her. Overall, this pop star has both positive and negative role model qualities, but when she is up on stage wearing next to no clothing it is rather difficult to recall her innocent childhood ambitions. A great deal of attention is given to celebrities as they live their lives in the spotlight. Because of this they must realize that they have a responsibility to the public and act accordingly, as they are role models to many youth. The purpose of identifying a celebrity’s positive or negative traits is simply to be aware. If we see the negative images a celebrity displays we can avoid being influenced by them. Instead, we can recognize the good qualities of people, which are going to help us become a better person in a positive way. As non-celebrities, we also need to be aware of our own actions as someone, such as a little brother or sister, or maybe a younger cousin, could be looking up to us, whether we know it or not.
How To Choose A Good Role Model?
Posted on in Information for Teens
Stories From Those Who Have Been There
“Say No … Say It Proudly”
“Why are you hanging out with that crowd? They are nothing but trouble.” “I am just saying this because I love you and I am worried about you.” How bad does that drive us crazy, hearing our parents nagging on us, for no reason in our eyes? It is a major pain in the butt, trust me, I know. I went through it and I thought that they were wrong and crazy. Then, when I was left with nothing, I wished I had listened to my mother when she was being crazy and saying all those silly things to me. This is my story of pain, hardship and of me not listening to the people who actually loved me for me!
I had the best life. Just my mom and me. I was doing well in school, had a lot of friends, and I was doing what I loved most: dancing. I was 11 when I got introduced to my first boyfriend and when I smoked my first joint. I didn’t know much about anything bad, especially pot. I had my first boyfriend and I wanted to fit in with his crowd, so I started smoking pot. After I smoked my first joint I felt a little funny, but I thought I could handle it. I slowly started to smoke more and more pot and I started smoking cigarettes as well because I wanted that feeling of acceptance from my boyfriend and his “cool” friends. I got just that in following and doing what they did. The first time I got caught was by my mom. I couldn’t tell her the truth, so that’s when the lying started. Time went on and I was smoking pot everyday. I started to skip classes and went to dance class less and less and the lying got worse. Now I had to lie to get money so I could get my drug fix and cigarettes for the day. After smoking pot everyday I wasn’t getting the high I used to. I got mad because my mom stopped giving me money because she was catching on. I had to lie and steal to get high, and even that wasn’t working. I thought to myself that it was time to go higher on the chain of drugs.
I got introduced to LSD (Acid), Ecstasy (E), Mushrooms (Shrooms) and Percocet (Perks). I thought that it couldn’t get any better. I was living in my own little world and I felt like nothing could go wrong. Buy, was I wrong. My boyfriend, of a little over 4 years, started abusing me mentally and emotionally. Every now and then he would push me around because I was not getting money from family members because they did not want to feed my drug addiction. So I left him and moved on to my next crowd of druggies. That’s when I met another crew of people and my new boyfriend who was so much better, I thought. I was 16 and living “the high life”. I was partying all the time and getting so high I couldn’t see straight or even walk and talk properly. Drugs were taking over my life and I let it happen. I no longer had any of my family or old friends anymore. They were tired of the choices I was making and they did not want to talk to me anymore. I did not care about school or dancing , all I cared about was when I was going to get my next fix so I could stay high 24/7. I did that for about 5 years of my teenage life. I was living a life of crime and addiction. You think the friends you have really care about you. In reality, all they care about is the same thing you do, someone to get high with or to do your drugs when they don’t have any of their own. To top everything off, I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant! Yeah that’s right, 16 and going to have a baby. I was too high all the time to worry about a baby. So I continued on with my habit and kept doing drugs. One day my best friend came to me in tears. She told me that she was 3 and a half months pregnant and had a miscarriage. Her doctors told her it was due to the amount of drugs she was putting into her system. I was speechless and I did not know what to do or what to think. I sat for 2 hours and did nothing, took one last long haul off a joint, stood up and walked out the door without saying a word. I kept walking for 3 hours. It was time for me to do something and now.
I decided to keep my baby and to continue with the pregnancy. I went back to school and completed my GED. I delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl. All of this was possible because I dropped drugs and the losers that came along with them on the ride I was on for 5 years of my life. I could not handle it anymore. I was sick and tired of spending my money on a high that only lasted for a couple of minutes. I was tired of waking up and not knowing where I was. And I was tired of feeling like shit because I had not eaten because I was too worried about getting high. The thing I was tired of most was realizing how much I hurt my family in making them watch what I was doing to myself and fighting with my mom over who was wrong and right. All they were doing was looking out for me because I was not able to do it myself. I chose to be addicted to drugs, it did not happen by itself. It is not something that just happens, you make it happen by picking up that first pill, joint, pipe, etc… So, take my past experience and soak it in and please don’t pick it up. It is not a life you want to live. It is a life of pain, lying, hardship, and hurting the people that love you the most. So the next time that your mom or dad does not want you to go somewhere or has something to say, take a second and think to yourself. Are they driving you crazy or are they just doing their job and looking out for you? 99.9 % of the time they are looking out for the person they love the most.
Sincerely, Someone who did it…So can you!!!
“Walk Away … Keep Walking … Don’t Look Back”
I started to use pot when I was eight years old. When I started to use, it was because I wanted to be accepted by my older sister. After time went on I wasn’t getting high from pot anymore. This made me use higher drugs such as — E, Mushrooms, Coke and so on and so forth. When I was on pot it would make me act stupid. I was always hungry & I was always lazy. I spent all of my money on drugs and started to sell off all of my stuff. After I ran out of stuff to sell and my parents stopped giving me money, I started to steal. I started to loose my family and burned their trust for me. I was moving in and out of my house and ran away a lot. The first time I ran away I was thirteen years old, no one knew where I was and I thought that no one cared. When I went back to where I was living before I had ran away everyone was so happy to see me and never wanted me to do anything like that ever again. I think it was then I realized how much I was hurting my family. After awhile I would use drugs because I had so much hurt inside of me that I didn’t want to deal with it. I was always picked on a school and at home. I was abused my whole life and didn’t ever think about all of that stuff. I used drugs to escape my reality. The more I used the worse I got, I am sixteen years old and have been in an out of jail since I was young and now I have a criminal record and I am now in rehab.
Don’t say “Well I only smoke pot”, that’s what I said at first and look where I’m at now.
My second chance …
Last year I was given an opportunity through the courts to be rehabilitated. If I had not, I would have spent many long months in jail and that really didn’t appeal to me much. I accepted the offer with a pessimistic attitude only because it would clear my criminal record (not for myself). I arrived at Portage on November 18th 2009. The program was very complex and difficult to adapt to but, in contrast it gave me many opportunities to reevaluate my approach to many things . At first imagining myself 4-6 months down the road (the usual length of the program) was extremely difficult for me to do. Now, prior to this new experience, The things I would value and, incorporate persistence and determination with, were ultimately what got me facing charges. Immediately upon arrival I was perceived as a judgmental and aggressive individual to the staff there but, I seemed to fit right in with the guys. Now portage may brag about there success rate but it’s ultimately up to the addict to change they’re ways. I often felt manipulated by the staff there and my defensive personality was frequently challenged. I just couldn’t adapt to this therapeutic community run by addicts. I had to find my place. So I had to now learn how to take all my street smarts and combine them with the skills and values that fund our society. Now your probably questioning yourself as you read this; What is it really like to be rehabilitated? and for some people it’s very difficult to comprehend. It took an enormous amount of determination to complete that program and, it took me 9 months! (I had a few set backs). How I viewed myself 1 year ago, influenced me to change my ways. Its very humbling to make a self-inventory of your short-comings and, its extremely rewarding to rise above it all. I was blindly, going in the wrong direction and was inconsiderately dragging others down with me. The old me, has made me much more aware of where I was going and who I would have become. I had such a persuasive effect on those around me and it evidently, affected those I would corrupt. The main thing some addicts need to be aware of is that they’re actions may affect others and, They’re are long-term consequences to these actions. I speak with integrity when I elaborate on this topic and I I feel extremely grateful and fortunate to have been given an opportunity like this but, I’ve really only got myself to thank, for it was my choice in the beginning, right?
Posted on in Information for Teens
Drugs can be considered harmful when their level of use causes physical, mental, social or economic problems. But even when used under medical guidance, some drugs can have undesirable side effects. Many drugs may also have effects beyond those for which the user is looking. When such drugs are used non-medically, these side effects become potentially dangerous.
All psychoactive drugs can reduce physical co-ordination, distort the senses, or impair judgment. These effects can lead to serious safety risks, especially if the user drives a motor vehicle or operates machinery. Drivers intoxicated by alcohol or some other drug can cause many road injuries and fatalities. Often people who have taken alcohol or drugs are unaware of their impairment, which makes the risk all that much greater.
Physical Health Hazards:
All psychoactive drugs have effects other than those for which they are used, and some of these can be very damaging to physical health. Smoking marijuana or tobacco, for example can cause lung damage. Sniffing cocaine can damage the inside of the nose. Users who inject drugs by hypodermic needles can get infections such as serum hepatitis or AIDS. Mental Health Hazards: Some drugs can cause short-term confusion, anxiety or even severe mental disturbances caused by “Bad trips”. In the longer term, drug abuse can result in personality disturbances, learning problems, and loss of memory. Mental health risks are especially high for young drug users. A young person who turns to drugs as a way of avoiding normal anxiety and depression may be establishing a pattern of behavior that can be hard to break in the future.
This occurs when a drug users body becomes so accustomed to a particular drug that it can only function normally if the drug is present. Without the drug the user may experience a variety of symptoms, some of which can be fatal, that are collectively referred to as “withdrawal”. Not all drugs produce physical dependence, but they may still be abused because of their perceived effects, and as a result of psychological dependence. Physical dependence is one of the factors contributing to the continued use of drugs.
This dependence exists when a drug is so central to a persons thoughts, emotions, and activities that it is extremely difficult to stop using it, or even stop thinking about it. Like physical dependence, psychological dependence is a cause of continued drug use.
Tolerance means that, over time and with regular use, a user needs more and more of a drug to get the same effect. Tolerance increases the physical health hazards of any drug simply because it can result in increased drug use over time. Tolerance also increases the risk of a dangerous or fatal overdose, for two reasons:
An overdose of any drug is a dose that can cause serious and sudden physical or mental damage. An overdose may or may not be fatal, depending on the drug and the amount taken. Dangerous overdoses may occur in users who have developed a tolerance for a drug, or in any street drug users who have no way of knowing the exact potency of what they are buying.
Street Drug Hazards:
Illegal street drugs have a set of risks all their own.
Posted on in Information for Teens
Today, you, as a teen, have more problems to face, but do you know where to turn when you or a friend needs help? Take the time to read through these pages, it may give you the information you need to make decisions in a responsible manner. If we have the freedom to make our own choices we need to do so wisely.
Definition of Drug Abuse
Drug abuse may be defined as any use of a drug that leads to problems (apart from the undesirable side effects sometimes experienced by particular medical drugs). Problems may include health (illness, damage to organs, addiction), emotional (depression), social (loss of friends), family, financial (loss of job, cost of drugs), and legal (stealing for drug money).