Get the facts
10 Popular Myths
One of the biggest problems is that teens almost always have wrong information about drugs. Kids tend to believe what they hear from other teens, especially the “hype” about the upside of doing drugs.
The truth is: there is no upside to using drugs.
Here are the top 10 popular myths teens tend to believe about drugs – and the truth behind each myth:
- Myth – Marijuana is harmless.
TRUTH – Marijuana is addictive and has been proven to cause depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior and lack of focus. Marijuana smokers risk the same health problems as tobacco smokers: bronchitis, emphysema, and bronchial asthma. They also experience lack of coordination, memory problems, and poor concentration.
- Myth – Using drugs doesn’t change the brain.
TRUTH – Drugs change the brain, and this can lead to abuse, addiction, and other very serious physical and neurological (mind) problems.
- Myth – Legal drugs are helpful; illegal drugs are harmful.
TRUTH – It doesn’t matter whether a drug is legal or illegal because all drugs can be abused. Even if a federally regulated drug is considered “safe,” misuse and abuse of this drug can still have harmful effects.
- Myth – Parents don’t have any influence over a teen’s use of marijuana.
TRUTH – Marijuana use occurs less often among teens who think their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice.
- Myth – Using drugs is a normal part of growing up and experimentation is harmless.
TRUTH – The majority of teens reject drugs. According to a national survey, 79 percent of 8th- graders report NOT ever using illicit drugs. More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics—another reason not to start.
- Myth – You can’t overdose on prescription drugs to get high the first time.
TRUTH – You can overdose on any drug even the first time you use it. Since 2003, prescription pain medications have been involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.
- Myth – Many 8th graders abuse inhalants.
TRUTH – According to a national survey, almost 92 percent of 8th graders reported NOT using inhalants in the past year.
- Myth – Everybody is doing it!
TRUTH – Not “everybody” is doing it. In fact, most teens are not doing drugs. Those who do drugs do so infrequently, at parties or on occasion. Most teens do not drink or do drugs regularly. So don’t buy in to the myth to have fun or be popular you have to “party”. You don’t.
- Myth – It can’t hurt to try it just once.
TRUTH – It can hurt to try drugs. You may do something you regret while under the influence, you may get violent or become the victim of violence, you could get very sick and, in extreme cases, you may even die. Many teens die from the risky behavior they do while on drugs.
- Myth – Drug use is voluntary . . . I can quit whenever I want!
TRUTH – It’s true that drug use is a choice at first, but over time, it alters the chemistry of the brain and body – resulting in a compulsive and uncontrollable need for the drug. Addiction is a serious side effect of drug abuse.