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Newsflash:
Erin Donovan

Erin Donovan

Erin Donovan's contributions were written in the year before she began college, at which time she was WholeFamily's Senior Teen Advisor.

What is it like your first year of high school? Do the teachers go easy on you or are they pretty strict? Do kids pick on the freshmen a lot? A Let me tell you, everyone getting ready to enter high school worries about this one! It's a brand new experience, so it can bring anticipation and anxiety. To be honest, the way things will go differs from school to school. The best way to find out is ask someone who's gone to the school you will be going to.

Nicotine is the stimulant found in all tobacco products such as: cigarettes, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and cigars. Cigarettes contain at least 43 distinct cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking is directly responsible for 87 percent of lung cancer cases and causes most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking is also a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke; and has been linked to a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease.

COCAINE and CRACK Cocaine belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants, which tend to give a temporary illusion of limitless power and energy that leaves the user feeling depressed, edgy, and wanting more. Cocaine is usually snorted through the nose but it can also be injected intravenously. Crack is a form of cocaine that has been chemically altered (freebased) so that it can be smoked. Physical Risks Associated with using any amount of Cocaine/Crack: * Increases heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and body temperature. * Heart attacks, Strokes, and Respiratory Failure * Brain Seizures * Reduction of the body's ability to resist and combat infections * If using shared needles, hepatitis and/or AIDS Psychological Risks * Violent, erratic, or paranoid behavior * Hallucinations and "Coke Bugs", which is a sensation of insects crawling on or under the skin * Confusion, anxiety, and depression * Losing touch with reality (commonly reffered to as "Cocaine Psychosis") You can die from Cocaine the very first time you use it, due to the rapid effects it has on your heart and nervous system.

Alcohol belongs to a class of drugs known as 'depressants' because they slow down parts of the brain, such as judgement, reaction time, and motor skills. It also slows down the nervous system, lowering the heart rate and slowing breathing respirations. Alcohol is a legal drug (for people 21 and over in the United States and 18 and over in parts of Australia and Canada) and is most commonly used. If taken in moderation alcohol does not harm most people. However, regular excessive drinking of alcohol can cause a variety of health, personal, and social problems. Alcohol passes straight into the bloodstream from the small intestine and stomach.

I've gotten lots of letters concerning teen marriages. Am I too young? What's the success rate? What are the issues we need to look at and discuss? It's my hope that in reading this, some of your questions will be answered. It's also my hope that you'll be left with even more to think about, perhaps aspects you hadn't thought of before.
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