Drug Myths

Myths About Using Drugs

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Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths.

  • Myth: Marijuana is not harmful because it is “all-natural” and comes from a plant.
  • Truth: 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’re not a chronic user or “a stoner.
  • Truth: Occasional use can lead to frequent use.
  • Myth: Because sniffing powdered heroin doesn’t require needles, it isn’t very risky (40% of the high school seniors polled do not believe there is a great risk in trying heroin).
  • Truth: Heroin is dangerous no matter how it’s ingested. Once addicted to heroin, users may eventually switch to injecting the drug because it’s cheaper.
  • Myth: Drugs are not that dangerous and I can handle it.
  • Truth: Drug use is extremely unpredictable and affects people differently. Anyone can become addicted to drugs.
  • Myth: Everyone is doing it.
  • Truth: Research shows that more than four out of five eighth graders have not used drugs in the past month. Even among high school seniors (the group with the highest rate of marijuana use), only a quarter of those polled in a national study reported using the drug in the last month. In any given school, most students aren’t doing drugs.

Reference: “Growing Up Drug-Free,” U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, 1998.


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