MYTH: I can drink and handle myself just fine. I am very mature for my age. FACT: It is not maturity, its biology. The young body cannot handle alcohol the way an adult one can. (NIAAA) Alcohol impairs judgement and reflexes. It increases the chances that you will make terrible choices that you never would have made sober. (NSDUH) MYTH: If I needed to, I could sober up quickly. There are lots of ways to make that happen! FACT: Time is the ONLY thing that can sober a person up. In order for the brain and body to recover and get back to its normal state, the body needs to flush out the toxins. Many people think that coee or a cold shower can help sober you up, when really they just make you feel a buzz from the caeine or a rush from the cold water. MYTH: Hey, it’s just a little alcohol. What’s the harm? It’s not all THAT dangerous. FACT: Underage drinking contributes to more than 4,300 deaths among people below the age of 21 in the U.S. each year. (SAMHSA) Additionally, the younger youth start drinking, the higher the likelihood for developing alcohol dependence later in life. MYTH: Marijuana is safer than other drugs like alcohol because it is not addictive. FACT: The main active ingredient in marijuana, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), stimulates brain cells to release the chemical dopamine, which creates a feeling of pleasure. 1 in 11 adults who use marijuana become addicted. And the younger someone starts smoking, the higher the risk. One in six people who start in their teens will become addicted. (NIDA) MYTH: I study better high. I feel more focused. FACT: THC aects a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is necessary for learning. These aects can last long after the “high” is gone. In fact, college students who use are much more likely to drop out than those who do not. MYTH: I am a better driver when I am high. It just helps to relax me. FACT: Driving is a divided attention task. THC mutes the senses needed to drive safely and the ability to react to changing dangers while driving. (NHTSA) Some of the eects experienced by drivers are: slower reactions, lane weaving, decreased coordination, and diculty reacting to signals and sounds on the road. If you’ve been impacted by drunk driving, drugged driving or underage drinking, please contact our 24-Hour Victim Helpline at 877.MADD.HELP

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