In November 2020, the state of Mississippi will vote on legalizing medical marijuana. This is a bill that made the ballot because 200,000 Mississippians visited their local courthouses to sign a petition to express their desire to vote on the previously rejected initiative.
With this vote that will most certainly impact every Mississippian, we thought it was a good time to review myths and truths about drugs and alcohol. Remember that tobacco and alcohol are both legal but not necessarily good for everyone. Tobacco is bad for anyone who uses it and alcohol is addictive and deadly to many people. Likewise, some legal medications that are labeled as narcotics can be addictive and lethal, but they provide benefits to patients who need it and can use it correctly. If medical marijuana becomes legal you should know that only people with a prescription and monitoring from their provider should use it. Check out more drug and alcohol myths and truths below and share them with your teens and young adult children.
Alcohol myth #1: If you have a higher tolerance, it’s safer for you to drink alcohol than others.
Truth: This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Higher tolerance is actually a sign that you have a problem with alcohol and are drinking too much.
Alcohol myth #2: You get less drunk on beer and more drunk when you mix alcohol.
Truth: How drunk you get is based on how much alcohol content you consume, not the kind of alcohol you drink. Mixing alcohol makes for one heck of a hangover so it’s best not to do that at all.
Alcohol myth #3: Eating big meals before you drink lowers your ability to get drunk.
Truth: You can eat a 32-ounce steak and still get drunk if you drink heavily. Though a heavy meal might slow the absorption of alcohol it doesn’t prevent drunkenness.
Alcohol myth #4: It’s okay to drink before bedtime if you have trouble sleeping.
Truth: If you have trouble sleeping, alcohol is definitely not the answer! In fact, alcohol actually disrupts your sleep and REM time.
Marijuana myth #1: Marijuana isn’t dangerous because it’s used medically.
Truth: Nearly all medications, even over the counter drugs, can become dangerous if you misuse them. Smoking marijuana poses many of the same risks to your health as smoking cigarettes. Even if you use nonsmoking varieties of marijuana like edibles, you could still be affected by the potency of the drug in a negative way, and it still causes impairment and can be dangerous when operating a car or heavy machinery. Marijuana is also addictive to 1 in 11 adults.
Marijuana myth #2: Medical marijuana is safe for everyone, even kids and teens.
Truth: The brain structure changes in kids and teens from using marijuana has been proven to be permanent so no, medical marijuana isn’t safe for everyone. A strain called Charlotte’s Web which is almost completely free of THC and used in children with seizure disorders is often confused as the same medical marijuana but it’s actually a CBD strain. CBD is free of THC and other chemical compounds in marijuana that cause changes in the brain and get people high.
Marijuana myth #3: There are no long-term effects from marijuana in adults.
Truth: Increased depression and other mental illnesses have been linked to long-term marijuana use in multiple studies and the crude ways of using marijuana like smoking and vaping have been linked to dangerous lung problems.
As you can see, neither alcohol nor marijuana are “safe”, although some studies have shown some medical benefits of using medical marijuana when used as directed by a medical provider. If this drug becomes legal and you are prescribed medical marijuana, it’s because your provider felt the benefits outweighed the risk in your unique health situation. It’s imperative that you keep any prescribed medicines away from kids and teens and that you teach them the truths about drugs and alcohol as soon as they reach an age when they become curious. How do you know if they’ve reached a curious age? If they are asking questions, they’re curious.
Are you concerned about your marijuana or alcohol use? Your primary care provider can help. Visit EliteCare today to learn how we can get you the help you need to quit.