Most people grow up with what they consider to be a “basic understanding of drugs”, based on many common myths. “Marijuana isn’t so bad,” they say. “Natural drugs aren’t as harmful as synthetic ones.” Here are 5 of the most common myths about drugs and addiction… and their startling truths.
- Sharing prescription medication isn’t really illegal:
Adderall and Percocet are two commonly prescribed drugs for lethargy and pain. However, these drugs, along with dozens of others, are frequently used sans prescriptions for recreational purposes. While most users are convinced that sharing prescriptions isn’t nearly as big of a deal as underage drinking or using marijuana, the truth of the matter is that the law says otherwise. In fact, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription can actually land you more jail time than both of the previously mentioned offenses!
- Only thugs on the street sell drugs:
The modern media has presented the idea of a drug dealer as a big, scary thug with guns and a low-brimmed cap so often that it’s become ingrained in our collective conscience. But the fact of the matter is that drug dealers can be as inconspicuous as your next door neighbor, or even your best friend– which is why it’s so important to be vigilant and cautious if someone you trust offers you substances of any kind. Even a friend that carries prescription medicine around and offers it for headaches or toothaches can, by definition be considered (and charged as) a drug dealer!
- You can’t get addicted to prescribed medications:
Prescribed medications are prescribed for a reason– taking them at the wrong time, or in the wrong dosage, or combined with the wrong things can lead to horrific consequences… and addiction is one such consequence. Taking prescribed medications too often can lead to dependence– and one need look no further than the current opioid epidemic as proof. Other medications that people commonly become addicted to include opioids, benzodiazepines, sleep aids, and barbiturates.
- You only have to worry about “hard drugs”:
Not at all. Any substance that you can become addicted to can be dangerous– including alcohol. In fact, almost 100,000 people die every year from alcohol-related incidents– in the U.S. alone. Marijuana also leads to adverse effects, with commonly reported side effects that include anxiety, depression, and even psychosis. While there are hundreds of additional myths to be dispelled, the most important thing to keep in mind is that all unauthorized drug use is harmful, and alcoholic substances that aren’t consumed in moderation can be just as fatal as “hard drugs”!