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Facts and Myths about Drugs and Alcohol


Myth: Cocaine is a Safe and Clean Drug

Fact: Despite its ‘clean/safe’ image, common physical effects include sweating, loss of appetite, damage to the inside of the nose, increased heart and pulse rate. Some people experience nausea, headaches, irritability, paranoia and hallucinations. Cocaine (even taken on its own) can affect heart rhythms, leading to possible heart attacks, raised blood pressure, respiratory failure and strokes.


Myth: Marijuana is harmless

Fact: Heavy use can be harmful. Since pot smoke is chemically very similar to tobacco smoke, heavy pot smokers are at risk for some of the same health effects as cigarette smokers, like bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses. Again, though, the risks are from smoking, which isn't the only way to use marijuana. Another hazard: car accidents caused by driving while high, though the risk is lower than from drunk driving.


Myth: Drinking isn't all that dangerous.

Fact: One in three 18 to 24 year olds admitted to emergency rooms for serious injuries are intoxicated. Alcohol is also associated with homicides, suicides, and drowning.

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