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Surrounded

Surrounded

I’m surrounded by friends who drink, smoke weed, do other drugs, and party. My dad is an alcoholic, as well as a lot of my friends’ parents. Its sad to see so many of my peers be subjected to these things. I’ve promised myself never to drink or smoke. It just makes me so sad to know that a lot of people don’t think about what these substances are doing to them. I’ve become very shy and introverted because I don’t want to do the things most people at my high school do. I know its what’s best for me though, so I’m okay with not having many friends.

Cass, Illinois

Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure

As a minor, I always promised myself I would not be negatively influenced by the world and fall into the peer pressure of doing prescription drugs and consuming alcohol as a minor. As I matured peer pressure got worse. I was now in college and there were parties every day. Soon I was pressured into other things I never thought I would do. I had no intentions of ever consuming alcohol; many of my family member have been/are alcoholics. I’ve seen people addicted to heroin, meth and coke. I never intended to not only take but abuse prescription drugs. As a 18 year old college student all the pressure was overwhelming and I unfortunately gave in. One day when I was under the influence I looked in the mirror, and it wasn’t me. I had no idea who I became and since that day I am attempting to say no to drug/alcohol abuse and also be a positive influence on my peers. A good friend steers you away from wrong doing and things that can lead you to self destruction. Say no to peer pressure!!!!

Charde, Indiana

Running Away

Running Away

A month ago I ran away because I was unhappy and I wanted my dad in my life more. I was hanging out with the wrong people. When I ran away, my mother was stressed about where I was and had to constantly call the police. When I ran away last month I realized something … that my friends and the kids I hung around were the ones influencing me not to go home. I listened to those kids. Now I hang out with kids that are like me and dropped the ones who influenced me to do bad things.

Kiarah, New York

Above

Above

Some kids say that you should do it because  others are doing it. You shouldn’t always listen because you may do something that you don’t want to do. Please think about the choices that you make. Believe me I didn’t and it got me in a lot of trouble so think about it.

Y'umani, Georgia

One Regret

One Regret

I’m 24 years old and I been an alcoholic for the past 10 years. I became sober 2 months ago. I have done many bad things when I was drunk that could easily put me in jail for a while or even hurt people in a really bad way. Getting in trouble, hurting myself or family around me never made me change my mind about my drinking problem. How did I hit rock bottom? The outcome of the last time I got drunk was losing the love of my life. The irresponsibility of my actions made me lose her little by little until she lost the love for me. I’ve been trying to be strong but I have entered into depression and feeling awful. My story is long with many details to cover, but the fact of talking about it makes me feel good. I would love help and support, but I would love more to persuade people to stay alcohol free! Stay above the influence :):)

Alex, California

Changes

Changes

Everyone is different. Everyone wants to look like that super model they find in the magazine or on TV. But you’re not that person. Just because you want to be super skinny just like that one girl, doesn’t mean you should stop eating . Everyone is beautiful no matter their size, shape, color, and look. I know a girl who made herself throw up because she thought she was fat. She almost died because of that. Don’t change how you look. If someone says something about your size, ignore them and walk away. It works every time, but if they keep doing it contact someone older, like an adult or a teacher.  My point is to always be yourself and to never change because you are beautiful, and beautiful people need to stick together as one.

Breann, New Hampshire

Don’t Waste Your Life

Wasted-by-Isis-Payne

Don’t Waste Your Life

Isis, Oklahoma

Running Away

Running Away

When I was 17, my friends influenced me to try ecstasy at a party. They said it was fun and it wouldn’t hurt to try. I ended up getting hooked, meeting a boy, and running away with him to a different state! Together we tried almost every drug, from marijuana to methamphetamine to all kinds of pills. I thought I was in love; I thought I knew what I was doing. At one point we became homeless due to a false promise from a “friend.” After months of sober, deep thinking, I realized the pain I was causing myself and my family. I realized 3 years passed by and I was at a standstill… I finally told my parents I wanted to come home and how sorry I was for doing the things I had done. Here I am now, 2 years later, and I am at home rebuilding my relationships with my family members and sharing my experience with those who have questions and temptations! Overall, I am happy now that I overcame the obstacles that I created for myself, but I still get sad when I think back to those years.

Jenna, Florida

Clarity Of Mind

Clarity Of Mind

When I was in high school, all anyone could talk about was when, where, and what they were going to smoke. At first I was saying no to the parties, but after a while I went to one of them. I didn’t take, smoke, or drink anything. I just watched to see what it did to you. The outcome was the worst thing I had ever seen. People throwing up and forgetting even the simplest things like where they were and who their friends were. It wasn’t “fun” or “the best thing out there” from where I was standing. After that day, I thought to myself “OK, so if that happens when you drink, or smoke, or do any kind of drugs, then I’m never doing anything, ever in my life.”  And I am proud to say I have stuck by that thought. Most of my old, and ex, friends that still drink and smoke are now either in jail, have been to jail, or have had to go to the hospital because of whatever it is that they drank or smoke. I am drug free, alcohol free, and most of all. . . Above The Influence.

Jordan, New Mexico

My Struggle With Eating

My Struggle With Eating

In the fifth grade, I developed anorexia, bulimia, and purging disorder. I struggled with being bullied everyday and called fat. Everyday, I was weak. I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds without being tired out. I mainly struggled with purging disorder. I ate not a single thing and puked up everything. I puked up blood many times. I hated myself. But I knew what I was doing wasn’t safe. One day in the summer after sixth grade, I fainted in school. By then, I knew I had to stop. I never told them anything so I had to overcome everything by myself. I went to get help from my friends. They helped me get through one of the hardest parts of my life. I want every person to know that they are beautiful and that they should never go to such extremes to fix themselves to fit society’s image of beauty. :)

Joseph, New York

Dating

Dating

I started dating about a year or two ago and I eventually started to hate dating. Every guy I dated was either on drugs, drinking or both and I didn’t realize how bad it was until my last boyfriend called me one day, telling me he had to go to court and was going to probably miss my junior prom we planned on going to together, because him and his friends stole someone’s vehicle while they were smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. I told him I didn’t want that for us and he kept on doing more and more drugs and kept drinking. I found out a month after we broke up that he cant find a job, his new girfriend broke up with him after only a week, and that he will be going to prison, not 20/20 but prison, for 3 years. All I can say is I am happy I was never involved with anything he did that involved drugs or alcohol. Thank you Lord for taking away a bad future and giving me a better one!

Dee dee, Ohio

Straight Edge

Straight Edge

Don’t listen to everyone’s else’s opinions. The only opinion the matters is yours. When I was fourteen I started listening to straight edge music and became straight edge. I hung around with kids who drank and did drugs, but I never did, because I knew who I was, and I knew who I didn’t want to be. I never felt pressured because I set my boundaries and made my beliefs to my friends clear. I wear a straight edge bracelet everyday to remind me of who I am and to avoid temptations. I later realized I didn’t like who I was becoming with those friends even though I didn’t do drugs with them. I cut them out of my life and found friends who weren’t bad influences on me. To this day I am still straight edge and happy. So my point is cut out the negative influences in your life. Even if you’re not doing drugs with them they can still affect your life negatively.

Bella, California

It’s worth it

It’s worth it

I have always been known as a “good girl.” Someone who doesn’t put herself into situations that are risky and likes to take the safe road. Recently, I have felt as if I have been deemed as someone who doesn’t like to have fun because I do not drink, but I know that’s not the case. I don’t drink because I have experienced alcoholism in my family, and it has showed me that it’s not who I want to become. I would rather stay home on a friday night and miss a really big party than wake up one day finding myself empty without a drink in my hand. At times it may be hard, but it will be worth it, I know it will.

Erin, Illinois

Opinions and Rejections

Opinions and Rejections

Don’t hold back what you have to say if you know it’s important. We live in a world where people will judge you on what you say, and what you don’t say. What you do, and what you don’t do. But at the end of day, people will judge you. You shouldn’t let their opinions stop you from being you. So what if people reject you? They didn’t raise you, treat you, or diet you. You can live a fake life having everyone like you, or you can live life as you. Some people will dislike you, but most people will LOVE you. You can make an impact on others lives by speaking your mind. This world wants you to say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing. You don’t need everyone in your life, don’t spend it trying to please everyone. Society forces you to take rejections personal, it’s okay to hear or say no. Don’t stop yourself from being you for someone’s comfort. Don’t let opinions and rejections hold you back from being the person who you’re meant to be.

Isaac, Georgia

Do it for yourself

Do it for yourself

What I hate is how at school they just say drugs are bad. They just show us the negative side, which makes us just want to ignore what they’re saying and do what we want. Also, with everyone at school saying how fun it is, I know I want to join in the fun. However, I think we forget to respect ourselves. We ultimately get to make the choice, no matter how many scary advertisements and teachers yelling no, and no matter how many friends tell us how great last night was getting high. No matter what, we have to remember that we are good people, even if we mess up. Even if we mess up a lot. And good people are worth respecting. So we should respect ourselves, and make the choices we ultimately want to make.

Sydney, Colorado

NO HARMFUL DECISIONS

NO HARMFUL DECISIONS

I’m 15, and my sister’s going on 17. She and my mom always encourage me to go with my sisters’ friends. Truth is, I don’t, because they smoke and drink. I already have a plan to go to NCSU and be a biologist. Why would I let drugs and alcohol get in the way of my dreams?

Zakiyya, North Carolina

The Party Scene

The Party Scene

Being a senior in High school I’ve experienced many things & people. My freshman year I didn’t do anything too risky, but I went to my first house party. I saw certain things such as my friends, peers, and even my own sister doing drugs & alcohol. I looked around at this “party scene ” and saw that I didn’t quite “fit in.” I never really saw the point of using drugs or getting so drunk I can’t even remember my name. I honestly just was looking to mingle and have a good time. Things took to a bad turn and the police busted the party. Not only did that scare me like crazy but I had to find a way to explain to my mother why my older sister is acting so crazy because she was drinking. That made me realize who I am as a person. I don’t “go with the flow” of things, I do my own. To this day you’ll never catch me at a “party scene” with drugs & alcohol. Even though I don’t have millions of friends bc of not going out to parties I’m satisfied with who I am, who I hang around & who I will become.

Ayanna, Maryland

*My Story*

*My Story*

I started using drugs at first because my boyfriend at the time told me that it would make him love me more than he already did, so I hit my first bong. Worst thing I ever did, because after that he knew he could get me to try any drug he was doing. Luckily for me we broke up before it got too bad. I was eventually using marijuana daily, and I am now getting better. Trust me when I say that you are better than any drug out there. Stay safe. Stay drug free.

Abby, Maryland

We have the freedom.

We have the freedom.

So many people tell us to be like someone else. Like, if there’s two sisters and a mom, one of them seems perfect, and the other is not. The mother fusses at the imperfect child every day, and tells them to be more like the perfect one. The imperfect child knows that her mother just cares too much about what’s on the outside, and continues to be herself. Most of us are that child. Everyone is perfect the way they are. You don’t have to fit in. Be yourself, Live Above the influence.

Nella, Louisiana

Your life your choice

Your life your choice

It’s your life and you should choose what to do with it. It’s ok to take advice or views from your friends, but you shouldn’t let them make your life decisions. If you feel pressured, tell that person that you don’t want to do that certain thing with them, or ever. You should always speak up if you have a problem with something, even if it makes you look different or weird; people will respect you for your courage. If they don’t, then they weren’t meant to be in your life. The people that respect your opinions and decisions are meant to stay in your life forever life.

And if people think you are a square or a narc for having you own opinion and mind, then be the best square you can be.

Leaders make their own decisions, and followers follow what everyone else is doing.

Destini, Tennessee

I want to remember

i-want-to-remember

I want to remember

Anonymous

Big bully, a letter:

Big bully, a letter:

Dear bully,
You spit in my face
You pushed me down
You’ve kicked me
Called me names
And you feel so tough when I freeze in fear and I have no control of the situation.
But bully I never felt the need to do this to others and dealt with my pain of being hurt by you.
Now bully do you have a name? As much as I don’t want to like you something hurt you and it’s your turn to talk about it.

John, Connecticut

Self-hate

Self-hate

I honestly don’t know why I’m here. I’m barely ever bullied and everyone likes me. They think I’m so happy and such a great friend. Maybe I am, but I wouldn’t know. I am full of self-hate. I just can’t seem to find any likeable thing about myself. Because of this, most people think of me as a drama queen. And for having so many, non-backstabbing, “friends,” they think I’m an idiot for thinking of myself as alone. I know that this is totally dramatic, but I really truly am alone. I just want to move away and start fresh. But you can’t just delete your life. And deleting it will still leave scars. You have to fix it, mend the heart. After a while I have sort of come to an understanding that maybe I’m not as bad as I thought I was. Some kind people out there, who’s lives are no longer existent, have shown me how good I can be. You just have to understand that there will always be someone out there that sees no imperfections at all within you. Your beautiful inside and out.

Umbra, Alaska

Don’t Be Fooled! It’s Society!

Don’t Be Fooled! It’s Society!

There is a lot of things adults and society blame on teens like me and you. They say that this generation is terrible and wrong. But that very statement is baffling to me. How can you say that the generation fueled on twerking and drugs is the kids’ fault when the adults were the ones who made it? No matter what you do, just remember society’s image of “beauty” will never be true beauty. To be beautiful you must have a beautiful mind. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 0 or a size 13! You are beautiful

Cara, California

Learning from others mistakes

Learning from others mistakes

My older sister did drugs and alcohol for years and she passed away in a car accident along with the other driver one night while under the influence. Drugs and alcohol impact the body but they also impact those around us. I’m above the influence for my younger sister and for my parents who both were affected by my older sister’s actions. I choose to use these experiences and turn them into something good. I hope that my story will impact others and inspire them to rise above. As it has helped me rise above. If you have a loved one who struggles, or you are a loved one who struggles, you are not alone and you have the power to make a difference in your life and others’ lives one step at a time.

Morgan, California

The Choices of Today

The Choices of Today

People tend to forget that the choices we make today pave the path for our tomorrow. Peer pressure is all around us, we live in a world of peer pressure. The world tells us we have to be a certain way, our parents and teachers tell us, even our friends tell us. So we always have to choose wisely because our choices today will affect us tomorrow. Sometimes the right choice isn’t always popular, and it isn’t always easy. We have to stick to our gut, listen to our mind and follow our heart. We are all perfect the way we are, we do not need any drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or sex to make us “better” or “cool.”

Hannah, New Jersey

If it aint broke, dont fix it!!

If it aint broke, dont fix it!!

Imma keep this short and simple. When the human body is healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally, it’s gonna work the way it was created to. Why mess up a good thing by doing drugs and being under the influence?

There’s truly no point. Live life sober–that’s what we were created for.

<3

N, New York

your decisions

your decisions

Don’t let your friends make the decisions that could possibly ruin your life.

ian, Alabama

Live above the influence…Stay Strong

Live above the influence…Stay Strong

Living above the influence is staying away from peer pressure and resisting temptation. An example of living above would be when I resisted doing a nicotene-like drug called a hookah pen. There are many such ways to stay out of trouble, to live above the influence. I have relatives that didn’t resist, and now they are addicted to chewing tobacco and cigarettes. Even though I have their genes I stayed above! I believe that many middle and high school students are influenced by peer pressure to try drugs. Once you start, it is very hard to stop, because you can then become addicted to the drug that you tried at a young age. If you stay on drugs, it cuts years off your life, and it will also burn a hole in your pocket spending a ton of money. I have a grandmother that started smoking when she was young and hasn’t been able to stop. She suffered multiple lung problems because of smoke inhalation. I guess the point I’m trying to get across to you is that drugs are bad and can hurt!!!

Riley, Texas

My life

My life

People see me as a strong happy teen, but deep inside I’m alone. My mom walked out on our family 7 years ago, and we haven’t seen her for 5 of those years. She is always putting me down, saying that I’m never going to go to college and stuff like that. I am not happy, but I am strong. I don’t listen to her and try even harder to prove her wrong. She needs to move on and leave my sister, my brother and me, so we can be successful without her negativity. We will be successful with or without her. All she does is put us down. I cried myself to sleep every night because of her, but I later learned that she’s not worth my tears. I will move on and never look back. I have so many problems, I don’t know what to do anymore, but I’ll work hard and move forward. Failure is not an option!!!

nancy, Michigan

Preachers Kid

Preachers Kid

I’m a preachers daughter, and I used to smoke weed every day. I came to realize weed is not for me. I no longer smoke weed. I Am Above The Influence.

Deja, California

Living Above

Living Above

For me, being Above the Influence is my future, my image, my way of being.

Emma, Iowa

Key to Stop Using

Key to Stop Using

First of all, let’s start with the fact that no matter what drug you’re using, no matter what your background is, no matter how it’s going now, it doesn’t matter! The key to stop using is wanting to stop. You can try all you want, and tell everyone in the world you’re staying clean, but unless deep down inside, you want to stop, you’re going to keep going through the circle of addiction. I know this from experience. I have been to multiple facilities and tried to get clean a lot, and I mean a lot, of times. I told everyone that I wanted to stop, but in reality, I was just saying it to get people to leave me alone, because I really didn’t want to stop, but I was going to stop for other people. Everybody has there problems, but there’s never a problem too big or an excuse too great to keep using drugs. If you have no reason to stop using, give yourself a reason. Make not using your life goal. Show the people of the world that you can do this! You just have to want to stop.

Malachi, Missouri

My Dad

My Dad

My dad does drugs, and it’s ruined my family. It’s lead me to mental health problems. My parents are always fighting, and he gets so nasty. We never have money because he’s spending it on drugs. He blames everything bad on us. Drugs have torn my family to pieces. My brother doesn’t want to live near us because of him. My other brother started doing drugs and wrecked his life too. I don’t understand why people don’t think drugs are a big deal. You’re not just hurting yourself by using them, you’re hurting your family and friends too.

Cassie, Washington

rise

untitled

rise

lucky, New Jersey

Why I Stay Above

Why I Stay Above

I have a lot of dreams for the future, like the Olympics. I rise above so that I can get there.

Tris, New York

Just don’t.

Just don’t.

I don’t see the point in permanently hurting and limiting your possibilities just for a short period of fun. It’s just not worth the pain.

Eric, New York

It’s Not Cool

It’s Not Cool

Everybody – my friends, music, television, almost everybody – seems to think that weed is okay. So many times I’ve heard the same phrases: “Oh it makes me feel good,” “Oh you can’t die from it,” “Oh I don’t see anything wrong with it, it’s not like I smoke everyday.” That’s not the point! Weed, just like alcohol and any other drug, impairs you. It impairs your judgement, your thinking, your body. Anything that alters or messes with your body is BAD. I mean I don’t understand why people would want to not know what’s going on around them. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be unfocused and dazed. I don’t see why anyone would not want to remember things that just happened, or smell terrible. The fact that it’s illegal to drive under the influence of weed PROVES even more that marijuana is not what anyone should do. If you’re not using it for medical purposes prescribed by your doctor, here’s some advice: Don’t Use It At All. Be above the Influence.

Infiniti, New York

You are You

You are You

No matter what, you can’t let people tell you who to be, what to buy, or who to date and hang out with. You shouldn’t change yourself to try and fit in when you can be your own person, and find people who are just like you! I never worried about what people thought of me or if they liked me, because all your life there will be people who don’t like you and say things about you, but that’s just a part of life. It’s bound to happen and you can’t let it bother you! Make your own style, wear your own clothes, don’t give in to what other people want. Focus on what YOU want! You are You!!

Dakota, Massachusetts

parents who do drugs

parents who do drugs

When your parent(s) drink or do drugs, do they get mean, hit stuff, or say things? Well, I know how you feel. My father does alcohol and adivan at the same time. He gets so mean and hits stuff, and I just hate it. If you’re in my situation, talk to someone.

Emily, West Virginia

You broke my heart Dad

You broke my heart Dad

I harbor lots of hatred to the “gansta rap” culture, and tonight I pinpointed why when I heard a song from the 90s and immediately thought of my dad listening to it when he was addicted to cocaine. I cried for hours today reliving the depressing memories. I hate him for doing this to me. And I hate anyone who is so weak minded that they feel using a mind altering chemical is the answer to ignoring real life situations. Because of my father I have never even seen a drug with my very eyes. Every day I live with the torment of watching him fall apart. This is the very reason I know I would never do this; not just to protect myself, but to protect the people around me. Using drugs doesn’t just hurt you, it hurts everyone that cares about you. No one should fall this low.

Vanessa, Texas

Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been

Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been

Life is hard. If it’s easy, you’re doing it wrong. There is always pressure and stress around us. It’s everywhere. A lot of people say that teens don’t know what pressure or stress is, but they’re wrong. If what we feel isn’t stress, then what is?
Lately, I’ve been looking into the mirror and catching myself wondering. I’ve been wondering about a lot lately; about who I am, who I’ve been, what I want. The scary thing is, I’m not sure anymore. I don’t think I ever was. I have never drank, never done drugs, or had sex. Surprising for teens now a days.
I want everyone reading this to know that you’re not alone. You and I feel the same way. You and I both know that we got ourselves into this, now we have to get ourselves out. This doesn’t mean we won’t fall or need help. This doesn’t mean we’re weak. This means we are strong, we are brave, and we ARE above the influence.

SongUnheard, California

Being True to Yourself

Being True to Yourself

Being yourself is one of the most important things you can do in life, for yourself and those around you. When you try to act like something you are not, then you hurt yourself in many different ways, and you hurt the ones you love. So you should never let other people try to change you, and never let peer pressure get to you. Always be true to yourself.

Justin, Florida

I Know

I Know

I know, and I will always know, that I will never try a drug, never alter my mind in such a way, because I know what it does, to people, and not just to the person using, but to the people around you. I worry for people I know that take drugs, and get themselves so drunk that they can’t see straight. Don’t they know how they can affect people? If they keep it up, their lives will be ruined, and not just their lives, the lives of people they love. My family was torn apart by drugs. I’ve been affected first-hand by someone who was “under the influence”. I know. And, because I know, I refuse to use. It tore me apart, so why would I tear anyone else apart?

Hannah, Delaware

Why I stay above

Why I stay above

I choose to be above the influence because my little siblings mean the world to me. When I think about drugs, I think about what they would do to me and how that affects my little brother and sister. They’re growing up and our time together while they’re little is precious. I don’t want to be high and not remember things from the time I’m spending with them. I also think about how I would feel to see them doing drugs, and I can’t imagine having to hold my little sister’s hair back while she empties her stomach of everything because she’s been drinking too much. I can’t imagine having to pick my little brother up at some party because he’s high or drunk and he can’t function anymore. I want to be a person that they can look up to. I want them to see me as someone that they can be like. I don’t have that. My older sister chose differently, but I’m setting a better example for my baby brother and sister. I choose to be above the influence in the hope that they will too.

denver, New York

Why Do You Drink?

Why Do You Drink?

My dad drinks all the time when I’m with him every other weekend. I ask him to stop, but it just gets worse. I ask him “Why do you drink?” He says, “because I can.” No matter what I do, I can’t get him to stop drinking. It’s too hard. So I stay above the influence by living with my mom and having my cousin be there for me.

Sapphire, New York

I Am Me!

I Am Me!

My education
My excitement
My empowerment
My encouragement
My energy
My empathy
My excellence
This is ME!

Tre', Arkansas

Sports are keeping me Above the Influence

Sports are keeping me Above the Influence

My coaches and teammates help me to stay above the influence, and I do, because I don’t want to let them down. When using drugs and alcohol, you are destroying so many options of what you can do with your life.

Margaret, New York

My Goal

My Goal

I stay above the influence to achieve my goal of going to college and becoming a blood forensics analyst.

Felix, New York

Lovely… just like you

Lovely… just like you

Life is full of amazing people to meet. Beautiful places to see. Adventures to go on, jokes to be told, laughs to be shared, books to be read, movies to watch, songs to be sung, and happiness to be felt. Things are hard. And hard stuff sucks. I know, trust me, but there is so much more good than there is bad. Wanna know the only person who can make or break your views on life? You. And you should make it. Because life is wonderful. Life is beautiful. Like is lovely… just like you.

Kelsie, New York

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