EmblemHealth Teens - Growing Up Gracefully

The following information covers a wide variety of health topics, from visiting your doctor to learning about sexuality. A healthy body and mind come from making smart decisions. We offer information to help guide you through some of the choices you may face.

Alcohol & Drugs

As a teenager, there may be times when you’re tempted to try something that you know you probably shouldn’t. These days it may seem like alcohol and drugs can be found everywhere and that a lot of people are using them. Although most teens know better, many are still tempted by the excitement or escape that alcohol and/or drugs seem to offer. Learn the facts about alcohol and drugs and how harmful they are.

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Fitness & Diet

No matter what your age, it’s always important to eat well and get plenty of exercise to stay healthy and in good shape. Get the facts on healthy eating, dieting, eating disorders and more.

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You’re never too old to get shots. Many teens don’t know they should be immunized against diseases because they think shots are only for children. Getting immunized is a lifelong and life-protecting job. During your next doctor’s visit, ask whether you’ve had all the shots you need.

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Mental Health

Adolescence is a time of mental, emotional and social changes. As a teen, you may come face to face with difficult situations that can cause you to feel stressed, frustrated or sad. You may feel pressure to be liked, to do well in school and to get along with your family and friends. If you are feeling extremely stressed, sad, hopeless or worthless, these could be warning signs of a mental health problem. Mental health problems are real and treatable. It is during these times when you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. Speak to someone you can be open with — your parents, teachers, coaches or friends – about what’s on your mind, and always remember that your doctor can offer you help, too.

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Sexuality & STDs

The decision to have sex or not is a very personal matter. However, if you’re going to have sex or if you’re already having sex, it’s important that you know the health risks. In addition to pregnancy, getting one or more sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a real risk. Learning more about these things will help you make smart choices and avoid the bad ones.

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Smoking/Tobacco Use

Smoking is bad for your health. Some of the side effects of smoking are: bad skin, bad breath and yellow teeth. Chewing tobacco is not an acceptable substitute, either. Over time, smoking and other tobacco use can lead to cancer, emphysema and heart disease. It’s important that you learn about the dangers of tobacco. If you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco and want to quit, useful information is available to help you.

Secondhand Smoke
Breathing in someone else’s secondhand smoke is also very harmful to your health. It contains thousands of toxic or cancerous chemicals that increase your risk for heart disease, lung infections and cancer. If you don’t smoke, learn more about what you can do to avoid secondhand smoke.

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More Topics

From dental care to getting enough sleep, read more about other health and safety topics.

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