Common myths about drug use

There are a lot of misconceptions about alcohol and drug use. While social media and television shows may glamourize the use of these substances, there’s a side to alcohol and drug use that is misrepresented. Here are the myths vs the facts associated with substance abuse:

Myth:

I can take any drug and still be in control.

Fact:

Alcohol and drugs affect your nervous system. This means that they go straight to your brain and affect the way you think and make decisions. For instance, you may take part in activities that you later regret like engaging in risky sexual behaviour, violence or even committing a crime.

Myth:

Certain drugs like Marijuana (weed) or prescription medication are not addictive.

Fact:

Marijuana and prescription medication are addictive drugs, especially if used frequently. If you are always using Marijuana or abusing prescription medication, you can experience some serious mental health issues that can cause permanent damage.

Myth:

Addiction is not real. I can stop whenever I want.

Fact:

The truth is, most people start out using drugs occasionally, which is why they believe that they are in control of the amount they consume. However, with continued use over time, you lose this false sense of control and become dependent on the drug to enjoy yourself at parties or even to cope with difficult situations. This leads to drug abuse and addiction.

Myth:

Once you are addicted, there’s no hope for you.

Fact:

There’s always treatment available for people who are struggling with addiction and yes, you can recover.

Organised groups such as the South African National Council Association (SANCA) offer specialised education, prevention, treatment and aftercare services designed to improve your quality of life by helping to restore your sense confidence, self-control and worth in society. If you have decided you want to stop using substances and need help to stay clean, click here to access organisations that offer rehabilitation treatment.

The use of drugs may seem harmless at first, but often drugs have a way of taking over your life and leading to some serious mental and physical health issues. So, instead of holding on to these myths, educate yourself about the effects of drugs so that you can make the right choices and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

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