5 Completely False Myths About Drugs

You think you know all about drugs, right? Well, wrong. You’ll be surprised to find out that some common beliefs about drugs are simply mythical – so here they are, and why.

Everyone Who Tries Heroin Gets Addicted

Only 23% of individuals who try heroin go on to become addicted it. Although that is still a pretty high number, it might seem a bit surprising in light of how heroin is perceived. By comparison, 32% of those who try tobacco go on to become dependent on it.

Ecstasy Eats Holes In Your Brain

This claim was based on a scan of an ecstasy user’s brain which was interpreted incorrectly- spaces that looked like holes were in fact areas of decreased blood flow. The current findings in the field, when factors like sleep deprivation and previous drug use are accounted for, show that ecstasy may not harm your brain at all.

Crack Causes Crack Babies

On the surface, this might sound somewhat reasonable. But actually crack doesn’t cause the level of fetal damage that was initially believed. It’s important to mention, though, that smoking crack during pregnancy is NOT good for the fetus, but it’s just not quite as bad as it initially appeared. In fact, some experts now claim that the effects of smoking crack during pregnancy are less clear-cut than the effects of drinking alcohol.

Alcohol Is The Least Dangerous Drug

A rating system created in 2010 ranked 20 drugs based on the 16 different types of harm they might cause. Alcohol was ranked the highest in a number of categories, including accidents and suicide, related disease, addiction, injury, family adversities, economic cost, and community. Overall, alcohol had the highest score—indicating the highest level of danger, while heroin came in second place.

Marijuana is a Gateway Drug

On some level, this seems reasonable because many people who become addicted to drugs started by smoking pot. In fact, someone who uses marijuana is 104 times more likely to try cocaine (!), so there is a high correlation between pot smoking and hard drug use – but correlation is not the same as causation. There can be countless factors in between the two that might cause an individual to use hard drugs.

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