The world is filled with myths, rumors, and unproven facts that leave people constantly confused and intrigued. On television, the hit show Mythbusters proves or debunks many claims in science through research and experimentation. There are shows and documentaries of people taking exhaustive efforts to prove something they’re passionate about, or disprove something to silence others. Drugs are no different – there are plenty of drug myths that many people believe to be true, but really aren’t. I’ll list some of the misconceptions I find particularly interesting below.
Myths About Drugs
1) Myth: Teens don’t use prescription drugs frequently. Truth: More teens use prescription medicine, such as painkillers, than all other drugs except for marijuana.
2) Myth: Only adults abuse prescription drugs. Truth: Kids as young as 12 start abusing prescription drugs.
3) Myth: Prescription medicine is a safe alternative for getting high. Truth: These drugs can be equally, if not more dangerous than some illegal drugs. Because people don’t think there are many side effects in these drugs, many poison themselves through accidental overdose.
4) Myth: It isn’t easy for teens to get prescription drugs. Truth: Teens can easily get into a family member’s cabinet to take their medications for free, or by buying them off of other teens for cheap.
5) Myth: Drug addiction is voluntary. Truth: The first time a person takes a drug, yes it is their own doing, but eventually the drugs poison the brain to make it compulsive and more of a reflex rather than a choice.
6) Myth: Drug addiction is a personality flaw. Truth: Drug addiction is a disease of the brain, not an issue with a person’s character.
7) Myth: You have to want drug treatment for it to work well. Truth: Most people who begin treatment are actually incredibly hesitant towards the idea of starting therapy.
8) Myth: You should only need one treatment to get better. Truth: Drug abuse is often considered to be a chronic disorder, and may take a long period of or repeated treatments to get healthy.
9) Myth: People can just stop doing drugs if they want; no one needs treatment. Truth: Long-term drug use changes how a person’s brain works, and the addiction becomes entwined with their emotions and needs.
10) Myth: The biggest group with alcohol problems are kids ages 14-19. Truth: Kids are more likely to not use drugs, whereas the heaviest drinkers are aged 20 and up.
11) Myth: Alcohol and Tobacco don’t cause as much harm as other drugs. Truth: Alcohol and tobacco lead to more issues with health, law, death, and productivity than illegal drugs.
12) Myth: Drinking gives you energy in social situations. Truth: Alcohol is actually a depressant and makes you tired; however, because alcohol shuts off some brain functions, some users may feel more joy and excitement because of that.
13) Myth: Alcohol keeps you warm. Truth: When alcohol is consumed, blood rushes to vital organs to keep them alive, so the rest of your body temperature drops.
14) Myth: Cocaine makes sex better. Truth: Although cocaine has a reputation to help in that department, it actually impairs sexual function in both men and women.
15) Myth: Once you feel sober, the drug has left your body. Truth: Many drugs remain in your body for weeks, if not months at a time.
16) Myth: The drugs you buy are pure, such as only marijuana or only cocaine. Truth: Most drugs are diluted with an additive that looks similar, this way the ones selling it make a profit. This adds to the danger of drugs.
17) Myth: Coca-Cola contains cocaine. Truth: When Coca-Cola was first made it was made with a tiny bit of the coca leaf which at the time had a tiny bit of cocaine, but there is no actual cocaine in the drink.
18) Myth: You can trick a drug test. Truth: Because of how much security is involved with taking a drug test, it’s near impossible to fool them now. For example, you cannot take a jacket or purse in with you to perform an on-the-spot test.
19) Myth: Marijuana isn’t addicting. Truth: Although not many people do develop addictions to it, about 9% of users have.
20) Myth: Natural drugs are safer than synthetic drugs. Truth: Just because things like marijuana and mushrooms are organic, it doesn’t mean they don’t cause physical and mental side effects.
Hopefully these drug myths, rumors, and facts have enlightened you a bit more. It’s easy for some things to be believable, whether it’s about the effects of drugs or a product’s history. There are many misconceptions about drugs and their effects out there, so before someone tells you that a drug may not be harmful, take time to do your research to formulate your own opinion. There are plenty of other debunked myths out there, many of which relate to specific drugs. Just because a ‘fact’ is out there online or in person, it doesn’t make it valid – be your own mythbuster find out the truth yourself!