Often, what you hear about smoking and drugs comes from your peers, and such information may not always be accurate even though they may sound logical. Read on to find out how some common myths are busted.

Myth: Cannabis is harmless since some countries have legalised it.

Fact: Cannabis is just like any drug. It leads to drug addiction, drug abuse and a host of severe health problems such as depression, paranoia, distorted perceptions and psychosis. Contrary to popular belief, its natural plant origin does not make it any safer than other drugs. The first try could lead to addiction and eventual drug abuse.

Myth: It is impossible to get addicted to drugs like heroin or meth on the first try.

Truth: All drugs, if abused, lead to serious health consequences and a lifetime of regret. Even if the drug is plant-based like cannabis, it is just as dangerous as synthetic drugs. The first try could trigger a yearning for subsequent consumption, resulting in a never-ending cycle of substance abuse.

Myth: Taking drugs, like drinking alcohol and smoking, is a normal process of growing up.

 Fact: There are many other healthy activities such as sports and music that youths can participate in for character development. Substance abuse of illegal drugs does not form part of a person’s route to maturity.

Myth: My idol is ‘doing’ drugs. It must be safe and cool for me to do so too.

Fact: Every now and then, stories of how some celebrities get arrested for involvement with drugs surface in the media. Sometimes when such stories eventually make it to the press, the celebrity in question is already dead from an overdose. Their association with drugs does not affirm that it is ‘cool’ to take drugs; it only reinforces the point that anyone can fall prey to the dangers of drug abuse and substance abuse.

Myth: It doesn’t hurt just to try it once. I won’t get addicted.

Truth: Taking the first step to smoke or abuse drugs may become the first step towards a life of regret. Smoking and substance abuse lead to addiction and health problems that are potentially fatal.

There's only one truth when it comes to drugs: There is absolutely no advantage to using drugs, no matter what short-lived pleasurable effects they may give. Get the facts right and make the smart choice for yourself when it comes to drugs.

What you can do: 

Visit the CNB website for more information on drugs and drug abuse. If you notice a friend behaving strangely and the signs match those of drug addiction, immediate help must be rendered. You may contact the following helplines:

1) QuitLine for Smoking Cessation

Tel: 1800-438-2000*

2) Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA)

Tel: ] 6732 1122 (Sengkang branch) OR 9847 5102 (Lakeside branch)

3) Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

Tel: 1800-221-4444* (24 hours daily)

4) Teen Challenge (Singapore)

 Tel: 6793 7933 (Mon-Fri, 9.00AM – 6.00PM)

5) National Addictions Management Services (NAMS)

Tel: 6732 6837 (Mon-Sun inclusive of PHs, 8AM – 11PM)

If you have been approached to try drugs or wish to report any information, please call the CNB hotline at 1800-325-6666* 

This article was contributed by the Central Narcotics Bureau. 

*Kindly note that airtime charges apply for mobile calls to 1800 service lines and calls are free of charge only if made from regular land lines.

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