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Drugs, especially illegal ones, are notorious for their misinformation. Without a reliable knowledge base, users—from recreational ones to addicts—often rely on friends, online forums, and other untrustworthy information sources.
As such, misconceptions about these substances permeate the internet. We rounded up some of the more common ones and answered them with something more than rumors: we garnered assistance from Wilson Compton, the deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Here’s what we found.
Drug - Disease - Risks - Needles - Myth
Technically, by smoking the drug you avoid the potential disease risks that come with sharing needles. But this myth has less to do with inadvertent disease acquisition and more to do with the posit that smoking heroin is somehow less addictive or harmful to the body than injecting it because the drug doesn’t go straight into your veins. And that’s just not true.
“The harms associated with chasing the dragon [the slang term for smoking heroin] are very similar to injection in terms of people organizing their lives around the drug, impairing their work and their interactions with others,” Compton says. “Those are all the same and those are the harms that most of us are particularly concerned with.” He notes that in terms of physical risks, you do have less transmission of infectious diseases with a pipe than a needle, but that that’s only one of the concerns.
Heroin - Fumes - Heroin - Bloodstream - Comptons
Inhaling heroin might feel like it’s less immediate or intense because it seems less direct—you’re inhaling fumes rather than sticking the heroin straight into your bloodstream. But Comptons says that’s not the case. “Inhaling might even be faster because our lungs have a huge surface area,” he explains. “At the very least it’s a toss up. People think injection is faster, but our lungs are extremely efficient drug delivery systems.”
This one seems to have come from a study that associated...
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