Over the years, numerous myths and false notions concerning drugs – both prescribed and non-prescribed – have become more and more imbedded in people’s minds. Whether as a result of the advertisement campaigns in the social media or their integration within popular culture, most of us take drug issues too lightly and we are not always familiar with the risks and the negative side effects involved. However, knowing exactly what dangers you are exposed to is the best way to prevent accidents with harmful and sometimes even deadly consequences. Here is a quick debunking of the top 10 myths surrounding medication and drugs.
1. Becoming addicted to a certain drug is deliberate
It is true that in the initial stages of the drug use, the person will utilize it voluntarily because he enjoys the effects. However, constant usage of a certain substance will, over the course of time, modify the chemical composition of the brain significantly. Therefore, the compulsive necessity of taking that drug in order to maintain the balance of the brain and organism chemistry appears. In other words, you cannot help becoming addicted to a drug and it is bound to happen sooner or later.
2. Legal drugs are 100% safe, illegal drugs are the risky ones
Just because your physician has prescribed you a drug treatment that does not make it 100% percent safe when you exceed the recommended dosage or fail to respect the specifications of the substance. To put it simply, it doesn’t matter if it’s a mild sleeping pill or cocaine, virtually all drugs can be abused and the consequences can become highly unpleasant, even health threatening.
3. Smoking marijuana has no negative effects
Marijuana supporters have always emphasized on the curative properties and hazard-free nature of this substance. The opinions of the medical community concerning marijuana are mixed, but new test results stating that there is a strong chance smoking pot could determine the development of carcinoma have been recently made public. This hypothesis is supported by the presence of several carcinogens and co-carcinogens similar to tobacco in the smoke. Combine that with immune system dysfunctions, poor limb coordination and memory-loss issues and the theory of the harmless drug becomes unsustainable.
4. You can safely mix different drugs and substances
Unless you have a degree in chemistry and you are familiar with all the components of the drugs as well as their concentration, it is highly recommended to abstain from this practice. Not only would you risk exceeding the maximum dosage of a certain substance by combining drugs with similar compositions, but there are also negative interactions between them to consider. On a side note, the same applies for combining drugs – both prescription and illegal ones – with alcohol.
5. Once you are addicted, recovery is impossible
The difficulty of the addict’s road to recovery cannot be denied or understated, that’s a given. However, in most unsuccessful attempts, the problem comes from the DIY approach or the wrong recovery program, as well as the low willpower. On the bright side, there are numerous specialized clinics that have experienced notable successes with numerous patients, so don’t give up hope.
6. Drugs have no negative effect on pregnancy
In fact, taking drugs during the pregnancy period is highly discouraged especially because the substances that your body metabolizes will partially break through the placenta shield and reach the fetus. Because his organism is not yet fully developed, there is no way of predicting the negative effects of the drugs. In addition to that, the same applies to the utilization of drugs during the breastfeeding period.
7. The drug abuser demographic consists entirely of men of middle age
Nobody is actually certain what the origin of this misconception was, but it most probably emerged from the television shows that used middle age men and teens to concoct drug abuse stories. Nevertheless, if you can take a quick look at the statistics, you will notice that this demographic is not any higher among drug abusers compared to the rest. In other words, age and sex are not indicators for the propensity of an individual towards drugs.
8. Drug addiction is not a serious problem
Becoming addicted to a substance has a plethora of negative consequences on virtually all aspects of a person’s life, from social relations and interactions to severe health complications. The damage of an addiction intensifies in direct proportion to its duration and, in the most severe cases, it can actually lead to death. Therefore, while certain factions make a habit of minimizing the negative implications of drug abuse/addiction and present a romanticized version of the story, keep in mind that the addict is sure to lose control over his free will and to become dependent on a harmful substance.
9. Following detoxification, the brain pathways recover completely
Completely false, especially for people who are addicted to the particularly potent and hazardous substances contained by illegal drugs. The only thing that will fade and eventually disappear after a prolonged period of soberness is the physical withdrawal symptomatology. The pain may subside, but there is also permanent damage done to the cortex that will persist throughout your entire life. In addition to that, there are other negative effects on the overall health of your organism (heart and circulatory system problems, lung issues, stomach conditions, etc.).
10. Drugs do not have the same effect on your driving ability as alcohol
While everybody agrees that driving and alcohol don’t mix because this substance impairs the reflexes and coordination, some state that mild hallucinogenic drugs or perception enhancers are beneficial. This is not a statement that the medical community agrees with because every drug, no matter how mild, determines a loss of driving performance. The distorted vision, the diminished attention span and the excessively relaxed muscles will make the driver unable to avoid a potentially dangerous situation in time. This does not only refer strictly to illegal drugs because, if you read the recommendations on certain prescription medication, you will notice that the usage of some OTC products is not advisable prior to driving or operating heavy machinery.