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Myths about alcohol, other drugs and DUI

Society, media, and our friends can send mixed messages about drug and alcohol use and DUI. Dump the myths. Find out the truth so you can make smart decisions.

Myth:
Alcohol is not a drug and is safer to use than real drugs.
Truth:
Alcohol is a drug. The body reacts to alcohol just like it does to any other drug: to treat it like poison. Alcohol can damage the brain. Early and longtime use can cause addiction. Withdrawal can be painful and may lead to depression and thoughts of suicide. Advertisers say alcohol is glamorous. But they just want to make money and don't care what happens to you if you get hooked or get into trouble.
Myth:
Misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs is less harmful than using other drugs like alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine.
Truth:
Abuse of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs is on the rise among teens. OTC drugs are just as dangerous as street drugs. Prescription drugs and OTCs can be highly addictive and deadly. Using them while driving can be as fatal too.
Myth:
Using alcohol and drugs and committing a DUI would affect just me, nobody else.
Truth:
Everything you do affects somebody else. We're all connected, our friends, our family, even strangers we share the roads with. A DUI tragedy can happen to anyone—those who unwisely choose to use and drive and everyone else on the road. And what happens to you affects your friends and family, too. When you're driving, you have people's lives in your hands, so don't do it under the influence.
Myth:
Sleeping it off or vomiting are normal after you've been drinking and are nothing to worry about.
Truth:
When you pass out or vomit after drinking, your body is trying to tell you it's had too much alcohol and it's trying to get rid of the toxin. Anyone who has passed out or vomited needs to be watched carefully and should never be left alone. Sometimes people die from drinking too much; it's called alcohol poisoning.
Myth:
Guns are the No. 1 killer of teens.
Truth:
Alcohol kills more teens than guns do. And it kills 6.5 times more teens than all other illegal drugs combined.
Myth:
Cold showers and black coffee can sober up a drunk person.
Truth:
Cold showers, coffee, and exercising will not sober up someone who's been drinking. Only time can make someone sober. The amount of time it takes depends on things like body weight and whether there's food in the stomach. Giving a cold shower and coffee to a person who's been drinking will just make that person cold, wet, and awake — not sober.