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Top 10 Illegal Drug Myths

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Top 10 Illegal Drug Myths

When it comes to illegal drugs and the abuse of them, truths, half-truths and myths abound.  While there is no doubt that the misuse of illegal drugs has a high risk factor, it is also true that many stories are made up as scare tactics to deter children from using them.  Depending on how imaginative the drug stories are, they can have the opposite effect and lead to fascination, exploration and yes; drug abuse and drug addiction.  The objective of the following list is to highlight the dangers of these substances without unnecessary embellishments.

Top 10 Illegal Drug Myths  

  1. Crack cocaine is more addictive and potent than powdered cocaine! It has been a long standing belief that crack cocaine is more dangerous to users than its powdered form. This belief has even resulted in more severe judicial punishment for the possession and use of crack cocaine despite the fact that pharmacologically, it is the same drug as powdered cocaine. This myth evolved from the different effects produced by route of administration.  Crack cocaine is smoked while the powder is snorted or sniffed.  The high produced by smoking delivers effects that is comparable to getting the drug intravenously. As a result, the effects of crack cocaine, when it is smoke, is felt almost immediately which produces a more intense high then snorting but in essence, does not make the formulation of the drug any more potent. Government-sponsored surveys have also consistently shown that less than one out of four people who ever tried crack cocaine used it more than once. 
  2. Marijuana is a harmless drug! The harmful effects of marijuana, especially to kids, has been validated in multiple research outcomes including studies conducted by the National Institute on drug abuse (NIDA).  These studies show conclusive evidence that marijuana impairs attention span, memory functions and learning capabilities 24 hours after the last use event.  Studies also show that Cannabinoid receptors are also affected by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana that lead to neurological changes similar to alcohol, cocaine and heroin. 
  3. Marijuana is not addictive! Creative farming techniques have increased THC levels in marijuana plants grown today making this drug much more potent and subsequently increase its addictive potential.  Chronic marijuana users in research studies experience withdrawal symptoms that are indicative of dependence such as restlessness, insomnia, shakes and loss of appetite that are alleviated when the subject resumed marijuana use. 
  4. Insanity is inevitable after seven hits of LSD This very popular myth has been discredited by multiple research studies that have even posited that there is no evidence of a link between LSD and mental health problem although there is rare isolated incidence of Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). Also, according to an American study of more than 190,000 people’s health records even found evidence that classic psychedelic use was associated with lower lifetime rates of suicidal thoughts and actions. 
  5. PCP give you superhuman strength The truth about PCP is that it hijacks perceptions and anesthetizes feelings of pain which may cause feelings of indomitability. 
  6. Psilocybin Mushroom is safer than other drugs because it is natural! Psilocybin mushrooms, also referred to as “shrooms” or “magic mushroom” have the ability to alter brain chemistry and produce similar effects as any other illicit hallucinogen.  These effects can also lead to the same dangerous consequences such as driving while experiencing distorted sense perceptions, poor coordination and lack of judgement caused by consuming mushrooms. 
  7. MDMA Drains Spinal Fluid! In 2000, American rapper Eminem helped to popularize this myth in his songs titled “Drug Ballad” and “The Kids”. This myth first emerged from a 1994 research study in which breakdown products from serotonin were measure in the spinal fluid of MDMA users.  Researchers however, were responsible for draining spinal fluid for testing purposes. 
  8. PCP (phencyclidine) is the same as embalming fluid! This dangerous myth that PCP, also called “Angel Dust” is the same as formaldehyde which is a highly toxic chemical used for embalming of dead bodies among other things.  The risks of this myth is that some users have actually dipped rolled cannabis and cigarettes into formaldehyde and tried to smoke it. There is also a misconception that dust in “angel dust” refers to embalming fluid.  The Drug and Human Fact sheet also point out that PCP is not formaldehyde or embalming fluid but a white, crystalline powder that may appear tan, brown or yellow if contaminants are present. 
  9. Cocaine increase sexual prowess. The initial euphoric effects produced by cocaine such as heightened alertness and elevated mood can evoke feeling of sexual power, however, cocaine does not live up to this reputation.  In fact, studies show cocaine eventually reduce sex drive and impair sexual function in both men and women. 
  10. Most drugs stay true to their source like heroin, marijuana and cocaine! Recently, this misconception has been debunked by a wave of overdose deaths linked to fentanyl laced heroin products. Many of those who ingested these drugs thought they were using pure heroin.  Unfortunately, diluted or contamination occurs with most if not all illegal substances sold on the street and many consumers are still believing this very dangerous myth.

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