"Drugs are bad, mmkay?"

Yeah, but you know what's worse? Ignorance. It's a fact that people do drugs, and in all likelihood, will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. So rather than cluster them all under a barbed umbrella and throw hate bombs at the whole thing, wouldn't it be better, and easier, to sift the fact from the fiction. A little information can go a long way, and understanding drug habits and stereotypes may actually come in handy in the case of a family member or friend who may be in a bad place. Hell, it might even help you decide how best to treat your own body.

Here's a few myths and misconceptions busted about common drugs. 

1. 

 

Total BS. While some studies have shown a little evidence that chronic cannabis smokers have a lower sperm count, that's mostly connected to the weed itself. The seeds bit is just some shit your friends told you in school.

2. 

 

MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is a recreational drug that gives the user a euphoric, empathetic and stimulated high. Extremely high doses can result in liver or kidney failure, as with with anything in excess, as well as serotonin syndrome. However, there's not really any likelihood of actual holes in your brain.

This misconception comes from a segment of Oprah Winfrey's show where they depicted a PET scan of a normal brain and the brain of an emotionally troubled woman who had been abusing several drugs, including ecstasy. Check out the images below.

 

 

The 2nd image shows some kind of 'holes' in the brain, but that's just visual, as in those aren't literal holes, but just areas where there was low blood flow or sugar consumption. It's impossible to know what this was due to, but if it was ecstasy, the blood flow would return to normal within 3-4 weeks.

3. 

 

Again, I'm not condoning the usage of these drugs, just dispelling some general misinformation. Cocaine/heroin are both extremely addictive, and can cause a whole lot of physical and psychological damage, but a single, first-time use of these drugs cannot get you addicted.

Addiction is defined as the continuation of a previously pleasurable activity due to it becoming a compulsive need, both mentally and physically. While an introductory experience with drugs like cocaine or heroin can lead you to want to try it again, addiction happens through more prolonged usage.

4. 

 

Bath salts are an umbrella term for research chemicals, or synthetic designer drugs that have similar effects to popular drugs such as ecstasy but are legal due to their differing chemical nature, which doesn't yet classify them as an illegal drug. There was a case in Florida a while ago where a man, thought to be on bath salts, tried to eat another man's face. The story created a wave of bath salt-paranoia, fuelled by the media.

Turns out, the man had simply smoked some marijuana, and was also - wait for it- clinically insane, hence the face-eating. So bath salts may be dangerous and unresearched, but they won't turn you into a freakin' zombie.

5. 

 

Maybe not by written human definition, but even a casual look at a few statistics should work to convince you that alcohol is one of the most dangerous, and abused drugs - not least because it's not even classified as one. Alcohol abuse kills 2.5 million people each year, according to the WHO. Alcoholism is just as damaging as drug addiction and alcohol addiction even causes changes in the body and brain. The only reason that it's legal, or that other drugs are illegal, is because of rumours spread by a few corporate money men from the old days and a massive lack of information.

6. 

 

Contrary to what those before and after pictures of meth heads might imply, not all meth addicts have gaunt faces, missing teeth and scarred, pockmarked faces with open sores. There are several highly functional, totally presentable people around the world who depend on the drug on a daily basis, and you wouldn't even know it. Yes, meth abuse causes a whole host of neurological and physical problems, but it's a common and incorrect stereotype that all meth addicts have similar physical markings and giveaways.  

And that's that. If you can think of some other common myths about drugs, let us know.

Note: This article is just about busting myths. It's not condoning drug use in any way whatsoever.