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Help Guides For Teens  


" I used to do vaping and it was hard to quit but after I seen this website it changed my life and made me quit vaping until i knew what was in the vapes and other things. "


" I have a weird trauma bond with nicotine, i started when i was 10 years old and am now 18 with multiple attempts to quit but none
prevail,Ive tried patches, gum, cold turkey, weening off etc. but nothing seems to work very well "


" I started using in Freshmen year when I saw a couple of my friends doing it. It was not bad when I first started and didn’t have one of my own for a couple of months. But as it got easier to buy it, I didn’t stop buying it. I smoked the entirety of my sophomore year and now I am a junior trying to stop. It’s been extremely hard and my mentor keeps pushing me to stop. "


" When I was younger I lived in Memphis TN, we ain’t have very much of anything but my mom tried her best. We went days without eating, and been around a lot of weed in our lives(me and my siblings). One day a man broke into my house and almost shot me in my head, I realized that day that god was with me, I used to be around a lot of alcoholics and I’m trying my best to stay away from it and also want to make something out my live n not get involved in drugs or alcohol like anyone else. There’s a lot more I would like to talk about but don’t know how to say it. "


I started to use drug when i was 12 the first thing i used was weed for 3 years and than it turned to acid than pills almost overdosing 3 times what i took was over the counter pills like tylenol advil etc than when i was 15 i went to drug counseling for 8 months than i completed it. Then i went back into drug and alcohol counseling for the second time in there. Then right after that i was in a rehab for a month working on getting sober. when i got out i started going to a.a and n.a meetings went there got a sponser and now i’m 6 months sober and still staying sober


" Hi I'm Emma and my story is not about vaping or drugs but its about something that traumatized me for years at end when I was about 6 I would do something as simple as putting dirty cloths in the hamper and not continuing to wear them and my dad would hit me with his hand or something hard around the house such as a metal paper towel holder and it wouldn't always be physical abuse sometimes it would be mental abuse meaning he would make me think that I was always the problem or putting things in my head like I'm a scumbag and many other horrible things I was told by him that I was a horrible daughter and I would get taken away and have to live in an orphanage without my siblings or my mom I'm not telling you to pity me or feel bad I'm telling you because if you ask for help and get that abuse out of your life you will feel much better after thank you for listening I hope you are safe. 


"It’s really hard to talk to anyone about something that’s happening in your life. There are still plenty of stuff I need to talk to a trusted adult with, but I can’t bring up the courage or bravery to do so. The very first time I had smoked a cigarette was around the age 8-10. I was a little kid, and didn’t know what would happen, or how it could harm me in such a horrible way. And it’s not even my fault I had smoked it. My mom’s ex-boyfriend’s mom was baby sitting me and my little brother. I don’t remember what we had done to make her angry, but we had done something. She put us each in a different corner to make us behave. Only 5 minutes had passed by and she told us to come over to her. She smoked a lot, I don’t know what she smoked but she smoked a ton. She had a cigarette in her hand and she told us to try it. She gave it to me first and I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t know what it was. She told me to put it to my mouth so I did. I did what she told me because I was scared. I was scared she was going to hit me or yell at me again. I put the cigarette in my mouth and I did what she said. I sucked in all the smoke and quickly took the cigarette out and gave it back to her. It burned and I coughed up a storm. I had felt like crying, but I didn’t because she always got onto us for crying. Saying that she’d give us something to cry about. I remember her laughing because she thought it was so funny that I was coughing and about to cry. She was about to give it to my little brother, but my mom and her boyfriend came home. They didn’t know at the time. And I didn’t tell my mom until many years later. So many things were happening in my life at that point. I couldn’t keep anything locked up inside me any longer. It made me hurt more. So I finally told my mom. She listened, she comforted me the whole time. She told me she loved me and that it wasn’t my fault. Your story may be totally different from mine, but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to tell a trusted adult about what’s happening. They can help you. They can rescue you before you’re too far gone. Vaping, smoking, doing drugs isn’t cool. Just because your friends do it, doesn’t mean you need to. You don’t need to do that to be cool or popular. And if your friends are doing any of that stuff, maybe it’s best to find new friends who aren’t endangering their life. If you or anyone else knows someone who may be doing this, please contact a trusted adult for help."


" When I was younger I had a lot of family issues. My dad was never home, he worked on a barge and worked over very often. At one point I was staying with my cousin L. At this time l and I had been staying with my aunt, her step-mom at the time. My aunt S. We weren't able to bathe, eat, or change. There was close to no food there, and it led L. to eating batteries (we were very young).Before this happened L, and I decided to run away to my house, a block down the street. It had been raining, i had already started to regret all of my choices. Once we got the, L was feeding me and bathing me. Once my mother found out she was furious, she came to what was my house to look for us, and of course she found us. We got in trouble, and haven’t had to worry about those things in years. A few years later my cousin L wanted to teach her brother K. how to drive. She had tried her best convincing me to let him. I eventually said “fine.”, and let them use my ATV. When we started driving, L had been at the pedals, since k was younger then us both, and could reach the pedals. K jumped out, it rammed into a tree, I flew out, and L got stuck under the bar and fractured her neck. She was in the hospital for months, and this disabled my ability to see, and talk to her. Me and her lost our connection, and didn't gain it back until probably about June of 2023. A few years later, my parents got divorced, and my mom attempted suicide three different times. One was overdosing, and the other two I will not dive into. She was in the hospital for a week or so, and had the option of going to a rehab over it. If she went she would have to stay for a year, and not leave. She picked to go to the rehab, this put a mental toll over me. I didn't get to see her often at all. I got to visit her a few days during school breaks, but that's it. During this time period of her getting out out the mental hospital, I went to go live with my aunt A. My mom had ended up moving in with her as well after she got out of rehab. After a while she started to meet new men, and got back into vaping when she met my now stepfather. Shortly A year or so later I moved back to my hometown with my dad due to some family issues…A few years after that my step sister died in a car crash towards the end of August 2023.It was hard on the whole family, and a lot of the family resorted to vaping and smoking because of stress…They had been devastated and had nothing else to go back to. Overall life is a rollercoaster, and gets worse and better! Some people have different stories, but that doesn't mean that they are better, or worse then other peoples stories. "


"Hey my name is Madison and I am 14 years old. Throughout my 14 years of life I have been through so much. My parents divorced when I was 6 or 7 and I had to go to my dad's house every other weekend and I would come back to my mom's house on Sunday night. My dad was poor because he had to buy his own house now that him and my mom divorced. My dad had 1 air mattress and 4 solo cups for me my sister my brother and him had eat cereal out of until he could get more money I order to make sure we could have hot meals. My dad worked overtime so much so he could have a little extra money because he also had a pay child support plus his own bills. My mom met this man who we thought was a good person at first. He was a "preacher". After a year or so he started abusing me and my younger sister. He would hit us on the bottom of our feet with paint stirring sticks and very think wood. It would make our feet hurt really bad to where we couldn't walk. He would also beat us with belts and from my waist down were purple from how hard he whooped me. My dad found out about it bc he called DHS but DHS said nothing looked wrong it looked like I had fell while playing. The abuse continued and even got worse he would punch my sister, spit out my face, call us worthless and everything else in the book. About 4 years later I wasn't allowed to come to my dad's house bc my parents lied to him and said I didn't want to go to his house. Well he couldn't do anything to stop it except keep fighting in court. My brother and sister were allowed to keep going tho so I would sneak letters with them that they could take to my dad so he would still know I lived him and I didn't want to be with my mom. He then showed that to his attorney and they fought for me even harder. A fee years later my mom gave my brother and my sister to my dad but I still had to stay with my mom and step dad for a few months it was alright until it started getting very bad. My step dad molested me 89 times and raped me 47 times. I was so scared to call out for help and ask some one to help me. He threatened to kill me and my dad, sister. And brother so I kept my mouth shut for a year and a half. I started sneaking my step dad's cigarettes and alcohol to try and numb the pain. He would put bags over my face and suffocate me he almost killed me when he shot at me, he pistol wiped me. Threw me down, spit on me, beat me, punched me in the face. Chocked me, drowned me and so much more. I tried to kms (kill my self) because of all this 23 times. None of it worked. God was with me. I eventually had enough and snapped. I told my step dad's mom and she called the police. I got interviewed and all kinds of other things done. They made me stay with her for a little while with no contact with my mom and step dad. I got to finally come live with my dad and that was almost 3 years ago. I still think about all that and even have tried to commit a few more times I'm the past 3 years. I'm getting better tho. I have used a few vapes even in the 3 years and I just got clean about 7 months ago, I was drinking and doing a lot of bad. I just wanted to share my story for young teenagers or even young children. I want them to know that it's okay to speak up but it's also okay to be scared. I want young people like me to not feel guilty about anything like that, that happens to you. We are all young voices that just want to be heard and we should all get to be heard and have a voice. "


“Love your family and we will never strand apart” is what I always thought as a kid. My family small and yet perfect for me. 2 birthdays 2 Christmas 2 of every thing. I lived with both my mom and dad on separate days and I loved my mom more that my dad. She was my rock and helped me through a lot but things have changed. She met a man by the same name Timothy and he became my second dad. I loved my family and even if someone is sad we would cheer them up. BUT this all changed a the age of 10. Something started changing about Timothy he starting ordering me to do stuff and not giving me breaks. He said “ your always 11 start acting like it* even tho I had more responsibilities than some high schoolers. My brother was born a lil after and he was my pride. I started watching him almost 100% of the time and changing and care taking while my mom did who knows once. My mom started to act different as well she was more ski-dish and not that happy to be around. Meanwhile I’ve noticed that the amount of alcohol that they consumed was a lot they would add it to every drink and drink it non stop. But day before my brother was born I would see my step sis *tim’s daughter* every other week and she was an amazing and I was her older brother. If she needed me I was there and she knows how to comfort me. But one day in particular me and sis go upstairs to bed and I hear yelling and crying from downstairs and Tim is screaming at my mom but I couldn’t tell what it was. I go into sis’s room and she is crying and I comfort her and try to calm her. Once I do I go back to the entrance to my room and watch to see what will happen. Once you go upstairs and my room is right in front and you turn left to see sis’s room and then on the right is a bathroom. I stand at my door and my mom comes to go into her bedroom and she is holding her face and she yells up “ go back to bed”. I lay back down and fall asleep and when I woke up they acted like nothing happened last night and I was suspicious. But then both happened for a long time and I was about 13 when my sis stopped coming over and my mom and Tim started to dink more I could tell. One time I when downstairs and there is a washing machine and dryer. I went to go get my clothes then I looked on the washer and there was this white powered stuff and this other stuff in packets but I can’t remember what it looked like. But I just minded my business and went back upstairs. Then the next time anything happened it was to far from them. It was another night and I was chilling with my brother and then my mom and tim start fighting and mom tells me to go upstairs. And I do then I here it getting physical and I run downstairs and grab my brother and Tim screams at me “Put him down you ****” I set him back down and then my mom runs into my brothers room and slammed the door. Then I grab my Wii to try and calm me down because I noticed I was shivering and started to have a panic attack. Then Tim starts to yell to me “WHAT ARE YOU DOING” he yells in his drunken state. I say “ playing a game”. He goes and runs up half of the stairs “YOU SHOULD OF NEVER GOTTEN THAT YOU SPOILED BRAT* and a bunch of other cuss words. I cry and he continues to yell . but then he goes to get something and I grab my backpack blanket and my plastic sword because that was the only thing I had to defend myself. And I sneak down the stairs then I open the door and run out and since I was on the side of the house and I see him smoking outside the front door and I wait for him to move then I run the the neighbors and get there help. My dad was notified and was coming. That day my dad became my hero because he saved me from my almost doom. Me and my neighbor Selena go and wait outside at the end of our connected driveway and Tim comes out and screams at us and my neighbor luckily had her phone on her and called the rest of her family to come out and help. My dad soon pulls into the driveway and Tim runs into the wood and my mom follows. I go to bed and the last time I was ever at my moms. She goes to get something with a duffle bag and Tim’s sleeping on the couch Tim wakes up and says “we’re is mom” I say “ she will be right back” and he goes outside and comes back in drunk and yells at me and later he try’s to hit me but stops and tells me to stop crying but the he started to say “ you will never leave” and more stuff like that. I sit on the couch next to my brother and he goes to unlock the gun case and I run to unlock the baby gate but he grabs me and throws me back on coach and I get up and run again and open the gate and the the door to the mud room and he grabs me and throws me back and I slam my head off a table and I stand up dizzy. I managed to open both doors and let my mom in and she gets my brother then we hop in the care and he slashes the tiers and we manage to escape him. After all of this I go and. Live with my dad and I love him so much I’m so grateful that he cares about me and was able to be my hero. From all of this I’ve learned that 1, drugs are bad 2, let people gain your trust and don’t just give it out. P.s. I still have the sword


I have always had an odd relationship with my parents. When I was in 7th grade I started using nicotine as a way to cope with my past trauma. I also turned to self harm and an eating disorder. My school counselor alerted my family to these facts and told them that I was trans. I had not given her permission to tell my parents to the latter information. There was multiple years where I was in and out of psych facilities and residential treatment facilities for my mental health problems. During these years I also had many toxic friendships and a horrific relationship with my parents. Everyday we would scream at each other and get violent. The times in hospitals were traumatic and caused more stress than healing but they kept me alive long enough to get out and get proper help. The time away from my parents was helpful and with a lot of therapy on everyone’s end we slowly began rebuilding our relationship. It is now a somewhat normal relationship but it is still stressed. I still get my identity invalidated and feel like an outcast in my own home. After about a year free from all of these behaviors I was sexually assaulted for the third time. These habits began to come back and I have slipped back into all of them again. I know I will get better eventually but major life changes make me slip into old habits and I don’t know how to stop them on my own and that’s scary.


I have a vivid remembrance of memories from when I was 3. Me and my 8-year-old sister would play outside, she would change my diapers, she would do all the things a sister would do. Me and my sister had a strong bond. She protected me with her heart and I wish she was still here to do that. April 8th, 2012, Easter morning, I was up wide awake coloring at the white wooden table in the living room with my back facing the couch on the floor with red and blue crayons, just thinking it would be a normal night I was just doing what a three-year-old toddler would do. As I look up I see fire, nobody knows 100% what started it but all I know is in that fire I lost my other half. I sprinted to the kitchen and informed my mom's friend that there was a fire and there was nothing I could do but run out the door and that’s what I did. A 3-year-old child crying in a diaper in the middle of the street not knowing what to do. As I started seeing police lights show up and fire fighters run into my burning house to find my family I was being passed from neighbor's houses to other neighbor's houses, I remember one house across the street, I was laying on the couch and I got up and walked over to the glass door and put my little hands on the door and all I saw was across the street my childhood home with so many memories and all I felt was sadness and the heat of the fire on my little hands. In the burning house fire was my mother, grandmother, my sister, and my mom's friend. Everyone got out safely except for my grandmother and sister. The craziest thing about the fire was the night before the fire happened my sister asked if me and her could sleep at my uncle's because she had a bad feeling about tonight her instinct told her it wasn’t safe but we stayed in our home that night. My innocent poor sister and grandmother “gaga” , In that fire not only did I lose them but I lost my home, after that fire it was decided that it was best if I didn’t live with my mother due to drug and alcohol abuse. Losing a loved one is a deeply painful experience one that can be very difficult for young children to comprehend. It was hard for my little mind to understand that I lost “Lala” and that she would never be able to see Gigi again, and that growing up Ill never have an older sibling to drive me everywhere, someone to annoy, and someone to be by my side with the bond you have with your siblings. As I got older the Loss of my sister hit a little harder because I understood better. As I grew up people told me that it was okay to grieve and that the pain won’t be there forever but that’s a lie the pain of her not being here with me was still there. Since my uncle stepped forward to take the responsibility of caring for me I had an easier time dealing with the pain knowing I had many people surrounded by me that loved me and cared for me but one thing that stuck with me was that I wasn’t with my mom. Growing up I was surrounded by drugs and alcohol and I knew in my head it was bad, whenever I saw my mom with her special juice or her pill bottles I knew it was bad. Just being surrounded by her "friends" that smelt like smoke and looked crazy made me feel uncomfortable. She was unstable and it was best for her to love me from a distance. After 8 years of my mother not being around she finally got sober. Even tho my mom was sober my dad had a drinking problem. I despise drugs and alcohol knowing it's a trap set up for people dealing with their own mental problems and it can numb your pain but it can also ruin your life, it can split up families, cause you health problems, and even kill you. Even tho I didn’t live with my parents I had two amazing people that loved me and cared for me as their own my uncle and his girlfriend, they were mother and father figures In my life. They always made sure there was food on the table and a roof over my head. Growing up I was very fortunate to have a mother figure in my life since my biological mother couldn't be there. She was caring, supportive, and would go above and beyond to make sure I felt loved and protected. As time went on and I got older there was a change in the way I saw her. I noticed a change in her behavior when she drank alcohol she went from so nice and amazing to mean and wasn't the person I knew. As time went on it got worse and worse. Witnessing someone I loved & admired battle with a destructive and addicting habit hurt me, because I knew what such damage it could bring since I had already dealt with it with both of my parents. She hurt me in ways I couldn't even explain, she hurt me physically and mentally. It felt like everyone I looked up to just let me down. I had no stability in my life. It came to the point where I couldn't be living in that environment with her anymore and had to move, I ended up moving in with my cousin for a while and was hoping one day shell get better so I could come back. We lost the bond that we once had but we still kept little contact, she convinced me after a couple months she was better, and I believed it. I moved back, even though people told me I should give it more time and she needed "real" help not just her sayings he changed. I fell for it and went back, nothing changed, everything went right back to the way it was. I was so exhausted in life in having to be the adult when I was only 13. I had to chose what I wanted to do. I chose to move back with my cousin where I did have stability. Drugs and alcohol have extremely effected me since I was 3. All the people that I thought were leaders let me down at one point. Drugs and alcohol, as tempting as they may seem they have the power to TEAR lives apart. True happiness and fulfillment come from self love, healthy relationships , and pursuing your passions. If you're going thru things don't use drugs or alcohol as an escape, talk to someone and let your feelings out. I promise myself to never drink and do drugs as addiction runs in my jeans and I'll keep that promise.


I've always remembered some things from my early childhood. The earliest thing i remember is when i was 5. My Father and mother were in love, but they started getting distant. My dad would come home drunk all the time and i would cry in my room to the point where i started hallucinating. Then one day my parents were fighting in the backyard. i remember the damp sand in my hands as i tried to tune them out. they were talking about me, and what i did wrong that day. i was five. my dad then slapped me across my face and that was my mothers breaking point. They split up and we had to see our father every other week. about two years later, i found out that the man who i called 'dad' wasn't even my father. my real dad was in prison for assault. My mom's health went downhill from there. she started taking drugs, getting sick, losing so much weight, and her skin started eating itself. i was always the one to take care of her and my brother. my brother was 7 at the time, and i was just about to turn 9. my mom kept bringing back my biological father, and she was hurting herself. my dad got remarried, again, again,and again. my father got back with his first wife, and GOD did i hate her. she was just as bad as the rest. my mom was being assaulted by my bio-father. i hated it, and i had to keep my brother protected. we had to hide in our closet before because my bio-dad was kicking down our front door. My parents have tried to quit everything. My mothers actions, and my fathers had affected us. I *hate* Drugs and Alcohol. I'm now 13. I don't know how much longer i can do this before i go crazy.         


In 2021 my uncle died from drug overdose at 33. He had been in jail many times for drugs but always went back to jail because he was so hooked. he used it to cope with everything he was going through. well in march just a couple days before his birthday, my uncle passed away and he was beaten when he died. he has bruises and a big bump on his head. just for us to find out that he was bashed on the ground by his head. shortly after he passed my brother got hooked on vaping and my aunt stopped smoking because she didn’t want to end up like how her brother did. no matter how much we tried to stop my brother from smoking, he couldn’t stop. he got peer pressured into doing it when he turned 16, he’s now 21. i didn’t realize how bad drugs were until i heard what was actually in them or what could be in them.


I was about 13 years of age when I first announced it to my family but it has been going on for years before hand.I have been in therapy for 7 years now and been seeing a pcychiatrist for 3.The years when i was 11 through 12 I was heavily depressed with thoughts to hurt myself and getting bullied by my pears (I went to a private school).Almost everyday I cried myself to sleep.i would worry about my family everyday since they were going through some things at the time as well.Skip a few years and it's 7th grade I tried to hurt myself.next I tried to strangle myself.after a while of this I got tired 7 years of depression, anxiety, ahdh, old, insamnia etc. I finally talked to my therapist and told them. My mom was in the room keeping herself calm. Then we were told to go to the mental hospital.After we got out of the office my mom and I balled our eyes out screaming sorry to ecother.I got in to the hospital I was there for 5 to 6 weeks(in out patient).I then got better through these weeks learning how to be myself and not care learn how to deal with bullying.I switched school to public witch was the best change of my life.I am now in highschool happy as can be with lots of friends a girlfriend and in ib(international baccalaureate).What I wish you would take from my story is dont cover it up tell someone what your going through and doing this will make you feel better.life is short dont make it shorter.Be kind and try to be empathetic with others and understand what they are going through.


Hi, Mr. Deleon! I’m sure students from my own graduating glass didn’t even bat a true eye at your assembly, but I was truly interested! I’ve never had a problem with addiction first-hand, but I’ve seen “clips” from people of Canada overdosing famously from a drug nicknamed the “zombie drug” which causes them to lean over and spazz out. These videos can be found all over TikTok, YouTube, and even on SnapChat (despite the insufferable ads). This epidemic is among so many others, it’s shadowed away and seen to be an outcast because no one seems to be able to figure out, “Hey! Drugs kill!” Instead, they’re more like, “Hey, we taught you that in elementary, sucker. It isn’t our fault you’re the way you are now.” Getting the stimulate that these addictions cause is so important to you, but why? Well, let me tell you; this stimulate causes you to feel at ease and relaxed and as a stressed teenager, that mood let sounds heavenly— but it’s all just a lie. A giant fib. Because, there are so many things that you could replace your addiction with. And, you’re probably thinking that I’m some lame kid for thinking this way, but hey, personally, I believe you can replace your addiction with spending time with who people who care, your future, your animals, and even your hobbies. Genuine help can solve so much more than some nicotine. We’re here for you, as someone who always sees, but never tells, I can definitely tell you that I wish that people could listen. Thank you for listening to this, although it’s all over the place..! I’ve always been inspired to stop addiction abuse, and seeing your assembly today inspired me more than ever!


My name is Alexis St.John.I am in tenth grade in Johnstown High. To start my story off the most important part to start with is that my biological father left before I was born, he has chosen drugs over all of his children and he has four that I know of. Only two of the four children have met him. Me and my younger brother have never met him. My younger brother is two weeks younger then me because my father cheated on my mother while she was in the hospital with my grandfather that was passing away because he had cancer. My father put me through a lot without even being in my life. He took my mom to court to DNA test me because he didn't believe I was his. Even though the test showed I was his child he still up and left. I went through a lot of bullying because my father was absent, when I was around like ten I wanted to die and that isn't a normal thought for a child that age. My Father does lots of different drugs. Sadly my younger brother fell into that path too he vapes , smokes weed in all forms, and more. My father does about the same. My older brother also fell into the path but not as badly, He smokes weed and cigarettes. I had gotten into vaping awhile back because I thought that vapes would ease the problems I was facing and make the pain of being bullied the way I was go away. I also thought it would help my anxiety ease up. It definitely didn't help any of those things I listed it made them way worse. I developed depression from vaping I also lost all motivation to do the things I love. I wouldn't get out of bed unless I had to. I always had a negative attitude, I was always sleeping no matter how much sleep I got I was always super tired. I finally had quit and I went to counseling to get help and I went to my doctors to talk about my anxiety and the depression I had developed from the vape. I got my positive attitude back. I Started doing the things I love again. I got the help I needed and I'm not following in the path my father took. That is my main goal in life. I just got accepted into HFM Boces so I will be able to start my career and I'm going somewhere and I'm proud of myself for not only getting the help I needed for myself but I also needed to do it for my family because it was hurting them too. My name is Alexis St.John and this is my story.

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