Myths vs. Facts

  • Myth: You have to use drugs for a long time before drugs can really hurt you. 
  • FACT: Drugs can cause the brain to send the wrong signals to the body. This can make a person stop breathing, have a heart attack or go into a coma. This can happen the first time a drug is used.
  • Myth: Smoking cigarettes rarely leads to taking drugs.
  • FACT: Eighth graders who smoke cigarettes are 3 times more likely to try illicit drugs than non-smokers. Those who smoke a pack a day or more are 9 times more likely to try illicit drugs. 8th graders who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to drink alcohol as their non-smoking classmates.
  • Myth: Marijuana is not harmful because it is “all natural” and comes from a plant. 
  • FACT: Marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations.
  • Myth: It’s okay to use marijuana as long as you are not a chronic user or “stoner”. 
  • FACT: Even occasional use can cause attention and memory impairment and can lead users to use bad judgment or get into dangerous situations. Occasional use can also lead to frequent use causing even more damage.
  • Myth: Parents have a good understanding of drug use among their children. 
  • FACT: Parents actually underestimate the amount of drug use among their teens. The same study found that only 21 percent of parents believed their teens might have tried drugs- less than half of the actual number (44 percent).
  • Myth: Teens aren’t old enough to become addicted to drugs. 
  • FACT: Addiction can occur at any age. Even unborn babies can become addicted if their mothers use drugs.
  • Myth: Inhalants are not risky to use. 
  • FACT: Using inhalants even one time can put an individual at risk of sudden death or suffocation.
  • Myth: If an individual smokes marijuana over the week-end, he/ she will be fine on Monday. 
  • FACT: The effects of marijuana can last up to three days, decreasing memory, reflexes and coordination.
  • Myth: Teens don’t want their parents to have a role in their lives. 
  • FACT: Studies actually show that teens want more guidance from their parents. In a 1999 study, teens gave their parents a “D+” on their efforts to stop teens from using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
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