Busting the Myths!
Everyone knows the truth about drugs and alcohol, right? Even as adults, we often believe what we hear or read about drugs and alcohol without question, especially when it pertains to our youth. However, it’s important we form opinions based on facts and not myths. By being correctly informed, we can assist our youth in living safer and happier lives.
Here is a list of some common misconceptions about substance abuse and the truths that shatter those myths:
Myth: Prescription medications are safer to abuse than other drugs.
Fact: Many teens incorrectly believe that prescription drugs are the safer way to get high, cope with stress or perform better at school or on the field. However, when misused or taken without a doctor’s prescription, these drugs can be just as harmful as illegal street drugs.
Myth: Marijuana is harmless.
Fact: Marijuana harms in many ways, and kids are the most vulnerable to its damaging effects. Use of the drug can lead to significant health, safety, social, and learning or behavioral problems, especially for young users.
Myth: Adults drink, so kids should be able to drink too.
Fact: Drinking alcohol can cause learning problems or lead to adult alcoholism. A young person’s brain and body are still growing. People who begin drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to abuse or be dependent on alcohol than those who begin drinking after age 21.
Myth: E-cigarettes are safe.
Fact: E-cigarettes carry several safety risks. Users may be harmed over the long term by potential toxicity from chemical byproducts. Also, liquid nicotine is extremely toxic when swallowed, and in some cases, infants or young children have accidentally ingested the substance.
Parents are the most important source and have the most influence on their youth in preventing substance use and abuse. Knowing the truths about drugs and alcohol makes it easier to have these challenging conversations with your children.