The Top 10 Misconceptions About Illegal Drugs

"Crack is whack."

The study of illegal drugs is somewhat limited because the substances are, um, illegal. Without being able to analyze them in a thorough way, it has led to a lot of misinformation getting spread around. 

In the latest video of the misconceptions series, Mental Floss host Elliott Morgan has presented the top 10 myths surrounding illegal drugs: 


Misconception 1. "Everyone smoked pot in the 1960s"

According to a 1969 poll, Elliott claims that less than 5% of American adults had even smoked pot, and less than half of those polled even knew what the effects of the drug would be.

Misconception 2. "Taking LSD X times causes a person to become insane."

Despite what this longstanding myth claims, there's no magic number of LSD trips that will cause permanent psychosis.

Misconception 3. "Blue star tattoos are laced with LSD to get children high."

While this one almost seems plausible given that LSD tabs can look a lot like temporary tattoos, but this has never once been documented to happen. 

Misconception 4. "LSD remains in the spine to cause hallucinations later."

LSD gets metabolized in the body like most other substances within hours. Some people who use drugs can have some lingering effects due to hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, but it's not because the substance is being stored in the spinal fluid.

Misconception 5. "Children who had prenatal exposure to crack will have long term health problems."

While it's obviously not great for a pregnant mother to expose her unborn child to crack, growing up in poverty is overall more detrimental than being born a "crack baby," due to things like subpar medical and dental treatment.

Misconception 6. "Crack is extremely addicting."

"Crack is whack," Elliott quips, and it seems like most people agree. About 80-90% of people who use crack do not get addicted, leaving the number who do quite small.

Misconception 7. "It is rarely possible to overcome a meth addiction."

Just like many other drugs, it's possible to overcome an addiction to methamphetamine with proper medical treatment.

Misconception 8. "George Washington got high."

While our first president did grow cannabis, it was used for industrial hemp. The level of THC in the plants Washington grew were so low, he wouldn't have been able to get high from it if he wanted to.

Misconception 9. "Mushrooms in Super Mario Brothers are about drugs."

According to the game's creators, the mushrooms are in connection with folk lore, not about drugs at all.

Misconception 10. "Halloween candy is often laced with drugs."

While this has been a constant fear among parents for a long time, Halloween candy has just been widely used as a scapegoat when children are exposed to drugs through other means.

View the video in its entirety here:

[H/T: Mental Floss]

[Header image: iStockphoto]


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