Drug Myths that Can Definitely Go in the Trash—Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we began taking a look at drug myths that need to be dumped, pronto. Why is this important? Because when a person has a wrong understanding of the effects and dangers of drug use, he (or she) has a greater risk of initiating drug use, risking his health and future, and becoming addicted. Tens of thousands of people lose their lives every year due to drug overdoses. None of these people planned to become addicted or lose their lives. In this area of life, education and understanding are everything.

Here’s three more drug myths that need to go out in the trash.

5. Peer pressure is when other kids try to convince you to use drugs.

group of teens

Parents may advise their children that their friends may try to entice them to use drugs and that they should “Say no.” But that’s not the most common way kids become tempted. Very often, they walk into a room and see everyone else smoking pot or drinking and they just don’t know how to get themselves out of that situation without attracting negative attention. Or it looks like everyone is having a good time and they don’t want to be left out. Or they could think the drugs other people are using will be a solution to some problem they don’t know how to deal with like loneliness, lack of confidence, high stress levels, low self-esteem or even boredom. Education on resisting peer pressure should take these more subtle forms of pressure into account.

6. Smoking heroin is less addictive than injecting it.

Many people start using heroin by smoking or snorting it, often because they think it’s less addictive that way. But that’s a myth that deserves to be trashed immediately. Heroin is addictive however you use it. For most people, snorting or smoking heroin is an easier initiation – there’s less stigma attached to using drugs that way and they’d never become one of those guys who injects! But as their tolerance increases and their euphoria decreases, it’s very common to want to get back the rush they experienced the first time they tried the drug. Since the impact of injecting drugs is stronger than smoking or snorting, many heroin users eventually make this jump. And as a person’s mental and moral condition deteriorates, he (or she) becomes willing to overlook the increased risks to his health, which opens the door to using a needle.

7. A person only needs rehab if they use drugs every day.

a party with drugs and alcohol

This is a common impression many people have and certainly, there’s some truth to it. After months or years of using their drug of choice, most people are daily users. But not everyone who is trapped in the use of an intoxicant uses it every day. Some people, especially young adults, can’t stop themselves from spending every weekend drunk. Others can’t prevent themselves from relying on weed to relax or de-stress them. Some students reach for Adderall every time there’s a paper due or a test coming up. A better way to judge dependence is whether or not a person can see the damage they are doing to themselves, their relationships and their futures. And can they stop using their drug(s) of choice when that damage shows up? If they can’t, it’s a kindness to get that person to rehab to help them beef up their life skills so they make better choices than relying on drugs. Besides that, one study showed that 54% of those who only used drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and opioids progressed to weekday use within six months.

The drug rehab program at Narconon Ojai has a fifty-year history of helping the addicted break free from drug use and building a new, enjoyable sober life. Unique, drug-free methods are used to help each person to recover a fresh, bright outlook on life and sharper perceptions. Then life skill training strengthens a person’s ability to navigate a sober life through its challenges. Call us today to learn how it can help someone you care about find a new, lasting sobriety. Whether someone you love is using drugs every day or just at certain times, we can help them put that habit behind them and look forward to greater success in the future.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.