Top drug myths debunked

Despite educational programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education and AlcoholEdu, there is still confusion surrounding drug use. Health flyers sometimes contradict what we hear from our friends or see on television. Here are the top five myths about drug use, and what you actually need to know:

Prescription drugs are bad for you

It would be safe to assume that any drug a doctor can prescribe is safe to take. When a doctor prescribes a drug to someone, however, they are familiar with that person’s medical history. Taking a drug that was not specifically prescribed to you, or taking your own prescription drug in excess, can have negative consequences

Casual drug use will not hurt you 

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While occasional drug use is less risky than heavy drug use, it can still cause problems. Drugs alter the signals your brain sends to your body, which can result in difficulty breathing and heart problems. These adverse effects can actually happen the first time you use a drug or any time after, no matter how infrequent your use.

Marijuana is not a dangerous drug

Studies have proven that pot is less harmful than hard drugs such as heroin or crystal meth, and it is also less harmful to the human body than tobacco and alcohol. Heavy use can still hurt, however. Marijuana contains the same carcinogens that are present in tobacco smoke, and heavy pot smokers can be at risk for the same respiratory health concerns that plague cigarette smokers.

Using Adderall is not addictive 

Adderall is a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high risk for potential dependency. While some people take Adderall with no addictive side effects, others can easily get hooked. Even using it on occasion to finish a paper or study for an exam can increase your risk of becoming dependent.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 25 print edition. Email Bryna Shuman at [email protected]

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