Healthy Tips

January 18, 2019

Here Are 9 Myths About Drugs and Alcohol

Here Are 9 Myths About Drugs and Alcohol

If you have a teenager in your life, you already know that drugs and alcohol can be an issue that may affect their lives. January 22-27, 2019 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. Take this chance to arm yourself with knowledge to help the teens that you know.

Teenagers hear myths about drugs and alcohol from all sorts of places: friends, social media, TV, movies, music, or from other family members. It’s important that you’re there to help them differentiate fact from fiction.

Myth: I can drink and still be in control.

Fact: Drinking impairs your judgment, which increases the likelihood that you will do something you'll later regret such as having unprotected sex, being involved in date rape, damaging property, or being victimized by others.

Myth: Marijuana isn’t addictive.

Fact: Around 1 in 11 people who use marijuana could become addicted.

Myth: Drinking isn't all that dangerous.

Fact: Among college students, alcohol contributes to deaths from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, as well as assaults, sexual assaults or date rapes, and poor academic performance.

Myth: I can sober up quickly if I have to.

Fact: It takes about 2 hours for the adult body to eliminate the alcohol content of a single drink, depending on your weight. Nothing can speed up this process - not even coffee or cold showers.

Myth: Smokeless tobacco does not cause cancer.

Fact: Smokeless tobacco (such as chewing tobacco and snuff) increases the risk of cancer, especially oral cancers.

Myth: Beer doesn't have as much alcohol as hard liquor.

Fact: A 12-ounce bottle of beer has the same amount of alcohol as a standard shot of 80-proof liquor (either straight or in a mixed drink) or 5 ounces of wine.

Myth: I can manage to drive well enough after a few drinks.

Fact: The effects of alcohol start sooner than people realize, with mild impairment (up to .05 BAC) starting to affect speech, memory, attention, coordination, and balance. And if you are under 21, driving after drinking any amount of alcohol is illegal and you could lose your license.

Myth: Prescription pills are safe because they came from a doctor.

Fact: Since 2003, prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin have been involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

Myth: Once you’re addicted, there is no hope for you.

Fact: There is treatment available, and it can help.

Different types of treatments are available to meet your specific needs. You can get referrals to treatment programs by calling 1-800-662-HELP (a confidential hotline), or by visiting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration online.

You can also talk to your doctor about alcohol or drug abuse. If you do not have a doctor and would like help finding one, UT Medical Center’s Healthcare Coordination can help. They will talk to you about what insurance you have, what type of doctor you need, and what days are most convenient for you. Call them today at 865-305-6970 to make an appointment.

Many teens are not aware of the risks to their health, to their success in school, and to their safety while driving under the influence. When teens are given the scientific facts about drugs, they can be better prepared to make good decisions for themselves and they can share this information with others.

For more information about alcohol and drug use, or any other health topic, contact the Health Information Center. The Health Information Center is a library staffed by medical librarians and certified health information specialists. If you let us know your health information needs, we will do research for you and mail or email the results to you for free. You can call us at 865-305-9525. We also have a large collection of health books covering a variety of topics, including the following:

Brainstorm : the power and purpose of the teenage brain

Help! my teen is pregnant : a survival guide for moms of pregnant teens

What to do for your teen's health : easy to read, easy to use

Becoming a library member is free and only requires a picture ID.

The Health Information Center in located on the first floor the hospital. We have computers, printers, and a quiet place to take a break. We are open the following times:

Mon.-Thurs., 8:30 am-9 pm
Fri., 8:30 am-5 pm
Sat., 9 am-5 pm
Sun., 1 pm-9 pm