What’s fact and what’s fiction?

There are plenty of urban myths about drugs. These myths can be dangerous - even lethal - if you believe them. It’s important you separate the drugs facts from the fiction and Know the Score for yourself.

Intro
Mephedrone is a legal high
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Myth: Mephedrone is a legal high

Mephedrone is a legal high

You're correct, it's fiction

You’re incorrect, it’s fiction

Mephedrone (also known as meow-meow, m-cat and drone) is a class B drug and has been since its classification in 2010. Mephedrone may have been known as the original ‘legal high’ but this term is now misleading as mephedrone is not legal. Penalties for possession of mephedrone are up to five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Supply holds penalties of up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

Legal highs are safer than illegal drugs
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Myth: Legal highs are safer than illegal drugs

Legal highs are safer than illegal drugs

You're correct, it's fiction

You’re incorrect, it’s fiction

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), commonly known as ‘legal highs’ are not safer than other drugs and many users have reported lots of negative side effects when using these substances. NPS may also give you a different effect than you expect. Don’t underestimate drugs just because you can buy them in a shop.

Ketamine is a safe drug because it is also a medicine
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Myth: Ketamine is a safe drug because it is also a medicine

Ketamine is a safe drug because it is also a medicine

You're correct, it's fiction

You’re incorrect, it’s fiction

When administered medically, ketamine can be beneficial to patients. The use of ketamine in a recreational setting can make you feel detached from your surroundings and in larger doses can cause you to become immobile and unable to move when needed leaving you vulnerable. Long term use can lead to dependence, relationship breakdowns and many health problems including severe bladder damage.

You can tell a good ‘e’ by looking at it
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Myth: You can tell a good ‘e’ by looking at it

You can tell a good ‘e’ by looking at it

You're correct, it's fiction

You’re incorrect, it’s fiction

The colour, shape and logo stamped on ‘Es’ tell us nothing, except their marketing images. Only a full analysis can reveal the actual chemical content of any ecstasy tablet (ecstasy is also known by its chemical name MDMA). PMA and/ or PMMA are strong psychedelic (trippy) drugs which can cause a dangerous increase in body temperature. They have been found in tablets sold as ecstasy and a number of people have died in Scotland after taking these drugs. Even two identical tablets can contain different drugs - or nothing at all, so you can’t be sure what’s in it, how your body will react or the risks to your health.

The effects of cannabis can vary depending on how you take it
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Myth: The effects of cannabis can vary depending on how you take it

The effects of cannabis can vary depending on how you take it

You're correct, it's fact

You’re incorrect, it’s fact

When cannabis is eaten it takes longer to absorb into the blood from the stomach than through the lungs so you may think it has not worked and eat more, only to find the first lot then kicks in followed by the second or third dose. By that point it’s too late to control any adverse effects.

Mixing cocaine with alcohol will lower the effects of both drugs
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Myth: Mixing cocaine with alcohol will lower the effects of both drugs

Mixing cocaine with alcohol will lower the effects of both drugs

You're correct, it's fiction

You’re incorrect, it’s fiction

While it may seem that it lowers the effects, mixing alcohol with cocaine is risky. The substance cocaethylene is made in your body when you take both substances. Mixing substances is also known as polydrug use and occurs when two or more drugs are used at the same time or on the same occasion. Mixing drugs can also occur when the manufacturer combines different drugs to achieve a specific effect or to save money by mixing in cheaper chemicals. This results in users combining drugs unintentionally and holds a higher risk of serious side effects and overdose.

Most amphetamines, at a street level, are less than 20% pure
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Myth: Most amphetamines, at a street level, are less than 20% pure

Most amphetamines, at a street level, are less than 20% pure

You're correct, it's fact

You’re incorrect, it’s fact

Amphetamine in Scotland is of varying purity with some batches found to have purity level of less than 5%. The other 95% is cutting agents and may be comprised of substances like caffeine, glucose and potentially other drugs so you can never be sure what you are taking or how strong they are.

Psychedelics can cause you to hallucinate
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Myth: Psychedelics can cause you to hallucinate

Psychedelics can cause you to hallucinate

You're correct, it's fact

You’re incorrect, it’s fact

There are many different drugs with varying effect in the psychedelic category including LSD, mushrooms and the 2C family of drugs. Effects can range from slight changes in perception and confusion to more severe visual and sound hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety. Psychedelics are most risky for people with mental health issues.

Prescription drugs are safer to take than other drugs
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Myth: Prescription drugs are safer to take than other drugs

Prescription drugs are safer to take than other drugs

You're correct, it's fiction

You’re incorrect, it’s fiction

In approved conditions prescription drugs can be helpful in alleviating symptoms such as pain. However they can cause harm and long term use can build dependence to these substances. It may also be difficult to judge what dose is required. If you are prescribed medication it is legal but if you take medication which is not prescribed to you it may be classified and penalties will depend on the specific substance.

Score

Now you know the score about drugs myths!

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If you’re worried about someone or need free, confidential information and advice, call the
Know the Score Drugs Helpline
between 8am and 11pm on
0800 587 587 9.