The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) is one of the largest supporters of the world’s research on drug abuse and addiction. Routinely they put out reports on drug facts and myths. Here are excerpts from a recent report.

Marijuana is addictive?

Fact: The chances of becoming addicted to marijuana or any drug are different for each person. For marijuana, around 1 in 11 people who use it become addicted.

Watching cigarette use in movies increases smoking usage.

Fact: Research from NIDA says that teens, who see a lot of smoking in movies, are more likely to start smoking themselves. Television and movie actors smoke to look edgy and rebellious; but sometimes it’s just about “product placement” — the tobacco industry is always trying to get into your head and your pockets.

Drinking and driving can add up to tragic endings

Fact: In the U.S., about 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from injuries caused by underage drinking, more that 40 percent in car crashes. More than 4 in10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics.

Does drug and alcohol rehab treatment really work?

Fact: It takes time to recover from addiction – not only for the brain to re-adjust, but to make the lifestyle changes to avoid drugs. Think how hard it is to lose weight. We try different diets, exercise for awhile, lose a few pounds only to gain them back… until we can learn to make lasting changes to keep the weight off permanently. The same is true for quitting drugs. It may take several rounds of treatment before it sticks, but eventually the treatment works!

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