Pills: Just as dangerous as street drugs

Let’s separate fact from fiction

Myth: Prescription drugs are safer than illegal street drugs.

Fact: Studies show that many people think that because pills are made in factories and prescribed by doctors, that they are safer than drugs purchased on the street, but that’s not true. Without the prescription packaging and consulting your doctor, you are unlikely to know the dosage, side effects and warnings.

Myth: It’s okay to take an extra or larger dose when I need it.

Fact: No. Taking more than the doctor prescribes can put people at an increased risk for the drug’s side effects. For some drugs, that could mean breathing problems, seizures and even death.

Myth: Everyone is doing it.

Fact: More than 80 percent of high school students don’t use prescription medicines to get high. That’s not everyone.

Myth: Unlike underage drinking and marijuana use, misusing and sharing prescription medications is legal.

Fact: People who take a prescription for a legitimate medical reason shouldn’t share their medications with anyone. Some medicines are considered a “controlled substance,” and sharing these medicines or taking them from someone else is a crime.