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Get the Download on Drugs: Help Us Shatter the Myths!

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Sara Bellum

National Drug Facts Week is coming, and teens all over the country will be talking. To get the conversation started, NIDA has created a booklet, Drugs: Shatter the Myths, that separates fact from fiction about drug abuse and addiction. As you’ll notice, the ‘thought’ questions below also appear at the back of the booklet. We want your opinions—so join in the discussion by leaving us a comment. It can be about one of these ideas, or your own. 1. How do you convince a friend who is using drugs that they may be at risk for addiction or other bad consequences even though they feel fine right now? 2. Knowing what we do now, would you make cigarettes illegal if you could? 3. What is the best way to convince you or your friends that prescription drugs can be dangerous when abused— without scaring the people who need them? 4. Do you consider it cheating when athletes use steroids to improve their performance—what should the consequences be? 5. What’s the best way to get messages out to teens?

  • Social networks
  • TV ads
  • Web sites

6. Who should the messages be from? If we haven’t covered something you want to know more about, go to and enter your topic in the search box – and thanks for sharing!

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


That is the truth that is so real.

wow thats shocked me, very interesting

Have you ever smoked weed?

@B-ry NO

no i am not one of those people who try to be cool

If you plow smoke on a dog, will it get high or a buzz?

@jts Sounds mean to me, blowing any kind of smoke in a dog's face.

thats mean dont do that
thats mean dont do that

i dont do drugs because i dont like to do it or try to get next to it.......................

I wonder how mocking drug use will affect teen use of drugs. When drug users become the butt of jokes, rather than "cool," there will cease to be drug users.

1. How do you convince a friend who is using drugs that they may be at risk for addiction or other bad consequences even though they feel fine right now?

I've learned that trying to talk to someone while they are high doesn't work. Being there for them while they are high (making sure they are safe), not doing drugs with them, making sure they sober up and then talking to them calmly (not lecturing or yelling) about why doing what they are doing is dangerous. Especially if they are young, like, under 25 when their brains are still developing... young people who use seem to be more likely to get addicted.

Thank you - the media is our best defense against drug addiction, it is not cool at all - we invite everyone to our meetings on the beach.

It's paramount to distribute the truth about drugs everythere. There are unfortunately those who prefer people to think that there are "good" drugs and "bad" drugs hiding the actual truth about its destructive nature.

[commercial link removed, per guidelines]

Didn't really find many myths shattered, more so strengthened. When the propaganda stops spewing, so will the kids.

im so high nothing can hurt me

I have seen many of my friends back in india who were into one or other kind of substance abuse changed remarkably with meditation. This tecnique is taught by a socio- spiritual organisation spread world wide where conuselling and practice of this meditative techbique has cured even the most unstable cases. When i saw my own brother who was a chain smoker leave the habit over a three counselling sessions I was amazed and surprised.

Anyways this article does shatters myths, but i just wonder if the use of one psycoactive drug to get out of other is the right solution ?

@Vision Although providing drug-addicted persons with medications that can also have addictive properties may seem a bit strange, many patients need this kind of help to quit. Some medications can help people stop abusing drugs, because they treat the physical and emotional symptoms like depression, anxiety, sleep problems, etc., which can make it easier for people to stop the abuse. Some treatment medications help the brain adjust to not having the abused drug. These medications act slowly to hold back drug cravings, and they also have a calming effect on the body so that people can focus on counseling and other aspects of their drug treatment. Still other medications are being developed to interfere with the triggers that lead people to relapse. So, in the end, medications to treat drug abuse and addiction do much more good than harm. Good question, thanks.

Social networks, TV ads, and websites should all be used to get the message out to teens about drugs. The message should come from people who know the information and can back it up and prove a point.

1) Even though a friend may feel fine at the time, you can convince them of the risks involved by having them speak with someone who understands their situation. It will help them see the perspective of someone who has been in their situation and overcome it. They will feel more understood than someone who doesnt have first hand experience with the situation they are going through.

2)I would not make ciggarettes illegal, simply because I believe it is the individuals choice to smoke them or not. They are informed and aware of the risk associated with smoking cigarettes and must decide for themselves if the risk is worth the personal satisfaction they achieve from ciggarettes.

3) I think the best way to convince my friends that prescription drugs can be dangerous is by sharing the stories and struggles I have witnessed with other friends.

4) I do consider steroids cheating because they are illegal for the athlete to use and arent fair to those players who have worked hard and honestly to get where they are. They should not have their achievments officially recognized while on steroids, only achievements before and after use.

5) The best way to get messages out to teens is in a non "fingerpointing" or "chewing out" way about what they are doing or have done. Instead, educate them on the risks associated with their behaviors. I think a one on one or small group would be the best way to deliver the message. The message may be more easily accepted if it is coming from someone who has been through what the teens are going through and made it to the "brighter" more successful side of the situation. This shows you are not alone and it is possible.

Wow nice I like it I'm impress

john I think your right yeah i may only be 14 but in the town i live in there is a lot of drug use and i think that its really stupid because when my older brother was on a bunch of crap he tried to hang himself. you know that really effected my family. one day he was drinking and high on pills him and a buddy were going down a hill and he jumped off the back of his buddys bike and he broke some of his teeth. but they should stop making movies about that crap and start shows about how its bad for you and it should be on like every channel for like an hour a day and the parents should make there teens watch it. i know that may sound extreme but i think it would sink in after a while. but the goverment in maine allows it and dont do anything about it. but a quick question: if my older brother used and my dad used when he was a teen what are the chances of me using in the future?

@Dustin It is true that genes can influence someone’s likelihood of abusing drugs and getting addicted, but environment and the choices you make can override this genetic predisposition. You can’t develop a drug problem if you don’t do drugs, right? Hang out with people who have fun in healthy ways, not by harming themselves. Your choices, not just your genes, are a big part of what controls your destiny.

how do you convince your friend to quit smoking

@Ty You could tell them of your concern for their health and stand by them, be supportive while they try to quit. You could also show them some of the research on what smoking does to your body. You might share the facts about the health (and economic) consequences from smoking in these posts:

1)tell them and remind them what will happen in the future.
2)no, because even if they were illegal people would still find a way to sneak them, like what happened when they made alcohol illegal and today's problem with marijuana. people need to make the right decisions for themselves, not have another law that "everyone brakes anyway"
3) prescription drugs are good. they help people, in fact. unfortunately, there are those who choose to misuse them, turning them into something that is ugly.
4)using steroids is cheating, and people should receive the penalty that comes with cheating- being disqualified.
5)all of the above.
6)peers, experts

1. You try to convince them that drugs don't affect just a few hours at a time of their lives, that they have lasting damage. If you know someone who is recovering from drug abuse, take the person to them and have the recovering abuser try to talk to them. If none of that works, then it's your friend's choice to keep using drugs/alcohol and they have to pay the consequences.
2. No drugs or alcohol should be illegal, and here's why: I've seen many people affected by drug and alcohol abuse, one of them is my mom, who has been sober through AA for over two years. Legal consequences rarely affect them or stop them from using. If someone wants to use, let them. It's their life, and the consequences that will come to them naturally will be far more effective than anything a court could do.
3. The best way to convince anyone of anything is to have them talk to someone who has gone through the same thing and paid the consequences.
4. Absolutely. Athletes often feel pressured to use steroids to improve their performance. They'll get their consequences in time, no court required.
5. The media is a big influencer, so it would be benefical for less ads to promote drugs and alcohol and tobacco, but that probably won't happen anytime soon. The best way to learn is to hear from someone who's been through the same thing and probably felt the consequences.

I'm able to imagine the hard work it must have been needed to research for this post. [personally identifying information removed, per guidelines]

great post

I've always had bad luck with both of my parents being alcoholics, moving from houses to house, state to state dealing with abuse and neglect all the time. No one at an age as young as mine wants to deal with that. I was forced to grow up and now that I'm on my own(I'm just 17) I still feel as if I don't want to be like them but I do want to enjoy the fun I missed out on as a kid. Yeah, I was too young for the things teens do but now I am an actual teen and I'm at the age everybody uses and abuses. I do plan on attending college and being the beeter person my parents were not. Should I feel guilty though to have fun ONCE in a while?

@Dee. As with all things in life, you must look at the risk versus the reward and ask yourself if it is worth it.

These are certainly drug 'facts', however providing a fact without any context can be very misleading and defeats the purpose of a fact.

Cannabis (marijuana is a slang term), is not physically addicting. Despite claims that users experience 'withdrawal', there is no medically acknowledged physical withdrawal from cannabis use cessation. Therefore the context here is crucial.

While cannabis can be psychologically addicting, so can exercising, making music, creating art, playing video games, watching television, eating fatty, salty, and sweet foods, and nearly every other activity that humans enjoy. A man in Asia actually died due to fatigue from playing a computer game for 50 hours. It would be difficult to scientifically assert that he was not psychologically addicted to the computer game.

NIDA, you're getting a little better with this facts thing, but please start providing some context for your 'facts'. YOUNG PEOPLE DO NOT APPRECIATE BEING MISLEAD!

@J Of course, our intention is to communicate the facts so teens can make informed (and healthy) decisions, quite the opposite of trying to “mislead” anyone.

5. What’s the best way to get messages out to teens?
■Social networks
■TV ads
■Web sites

I think that the best way to get the message out to teens would be by TV ads. TV ads would be the best way to go because mostly everyone watches tv and if they put the ad on a teens channel, they are most likely to see it. Some kids aren't part of social networking so not everyone would get the message.

6. Who should the messages be from?

I think the messages should be from teens our age. If some adult just talks about it, its less believable. But, if they put kids our age with real life stories then we would be able to relate to them and take it alot more seriously.

Question number 2-If i could, i would make cigarettes illegal. The nicotine in the drug is addictive and can cause you to be irritable and depressed. Did you know that 35 million smokers are trying to quit and that only 6 percent of those people can actually do it for more than a month? I Think that kids nowadays are being influenced by the drug because the fact that isn't illegal. i think if we knew what we knew now about cigarettes, there would be any hesitation to make it illegal or stop it from even being don't need to made

Question 4- i think that it is considered cheating if a athlete does steroids to do better in sports. I think that it is a harsh world we live in nowadays, people are trying to cheat to be better. I don't think we ever need to cheat at something we are already good at! who cares if Bobby can run a little faster then you or if Jenny is a little stronger than you, you need drugs for anything, besides your own health. :)

2. yes. I would make cigarettes illegal because it has killed many people including relatives of mine. If you smoke you are influiencing others around you and hurting the people breathing in your smoke. If it was illegal to smoke more kids would not smoke. 5. One way to get the message out to teens is make more commercials about what will happen to you if you smoke or do any other kind of drug. You could also make more programs in school to teach all kids the horribile things that will happen to you.

If i was convincing a friend that they should stop i would say that it isnt cool and its bad for you.Just by saying that theyprobablly wont be convinced to stop but i could also say that noguy/girl would like you because when you takedrugs drugs can turn teeth yellow .

Yes i would make cigarettes illegal.Theres nothing good about ciggarettes.For example in a ciggarette ther is tar rat poison nicotine and other harmful things that shouldnt even come close to your lungs. When you start smoking you change your notyour normal self you change into someone that wont care if you get introuble or wont care if youget caughtfor smoking.

Thebest way ithink to tell your friends is by telling them the story where about 10 teens were together and dumped a bunch of pills into a bowl all of them ate the pills like a bag of barbecue chips later that night they had went tothe hospital and had to get there stomach pumped word had spread at their school and not alot of people would show them respect for even swallowing the pills.

YES totally steriods is cheating for altheletes.Steriods can make you more aggressive and gives youa hottemper you dont always haveto be inthespotlight when you play why cant althelets just do their best?Its not like Thurman thomas wasnta good player because he wasnt always thebest player on the team.

Social net working is probably the best wayto get the message out toteens the average amount of time just 1 teen is on facebookor twitter or tumblr ect. is about 2 or 3 hours!

Q: Knowing what we do now, would you make cigarettes illegal if you could?
A: Yes. I would make cigarettes illegal because then people would not die from them and they could not get asthma and lung cancer from a product that is not made.

Q:Do you consider it cheating when athletes use steroids to improve their performance—what should the consequences be?
A: Yes. I consider it to be cheating because if you are using steroids you are not yourself and are not playing a fair game with mussel enhancers. I think that you should be banned for life from playing sports in major or minor leagues.

1. How do you convince a friend who is using drugs that they may be at risk for addiction or other bad consequences even though they feel fine right now? answer:Maybe you could convince them about there health and the consequences of his/hers actions.

2. Knowing what we do now, would you make cigarettes illegal if you could? answer: No because when my mom went to get her lungs checked they had no trace of smoke or anything in them and she smokes.

1.I would NOT hang out with tht person any more. i will tell them to stop doing drugs and even if they feel fine now, in the long run,they wont feel as well. if i knew the person well enogh i would know that they would regret that they ever even started it in the first place
2.I would totallyyyyyy make ciggaretes illigal, that way i would not have to be a good arguer, i could tell the person that is smoking, it is illigal, then there is nothing really to argue about!!!!!
3.Prescribtion drugs are strictly for the person that has the pain or weakness to have to take the medicine. i would say, prescribtion drugs are so strong, and if there is nothing for the drug to heal or kill a bacteria cell, it is just going to eat away your stomach and other internal body parts.
4.The use of steroides are sooo cheating and not fair to the peole who are not taking drugs and are still just as good as you. it is cheating in so many ways. it think that the consiquence should be the player that is not being equall to others and taking illigal drugs, should be abandon from playing the sport or any sport, and shouuld be takin to jail.
5.i think that tv is watched the most, so i would say tv adds.

6. The message should be from stars or popular people to convince them that ''cool'' peole dont do bad things like drinking under age and doing drugs

If knowing what I knew about Cigarettes, I would make themm illegal. Everything that they have in them is very bad for you and every single day, people are getting all different types of Cancer, another name for cigarettes is a Cancer stick! All around the world from smoking people are always having health problems from smoking. I have a few famikly members that smoke and one opf them had a heart attack and is still alive but does not even dare to pick up another cigarette. The smell of cigarettes if your around that smell all the time, your at the same risk for heart and breathing problems as a smoker is. Its horrible people always say it helps me with all my stress and I need to smoke to be happy but, if they never started they would know how abd it is now to smoke, what can happen, what is in them and most importantly what an adicition it is just to smoke one Cigarette, it can get you adicted very easley with all of the niction in one Cigarette.

2) Yes, I would make cigarettes elegal if i could.Smoking is sick and discusting, it ruins your body.The smell and smoke in the air can cause people to get scond hand smoke.For me that would be horrifying to get second hand smoke.So that is my answer I say I would put a law against cigarettes.

3) yes I think it is cheating to use steriods in sports.Only if a doctor proscribes them to you it would be ok.If you just take them for sports parents, coaches, and school Principals should take action to stop it.Conciquences should be ejection from games and the sport they play becaus eit is not fair to be more fit by taking drugs it should just be by heart and and getting fit by working out.

for number 2 I would make cigarettes illegal if I could because know the ages are getting younger every couple of years and i started to think when I've heard that was in a couple of years or so 9 or 10 year old kids are going to smoke.

also for number 1: i would tell the person that its bad to smoke because all the thing that would happen, like: you can get cancers out of the 43 that are in the cigarettes that cause it, you can die from a heart attack, you can also, have yellow teeth bye smoking. And for perscription pills/drugs you can get seriosly get hurt if you take to much, if you take the wrong ones, or if you dont need them. You can get addicted to smoking by the nicotine inside the cigarettes, marawana, crack, or what ever you can smoke, and for drinking you will get addicted because when you get stressed, in pain, or mad it will make you calm, lazy, or relieved and you would also get addicted if get stressed a lot but you can get sick, drunk, and/or might die if you drink with medicine.

Cigarettes should not be illegal as long as people use them responsibly.