11 Lies People (And My Mom) Told Me About Drugs

When I was a kid, I remember being terrified about going to junior high school. My mom told me that kids were going to try and force me to do drugs. I wouldn’t be safe at recess, or in the halls. They were going to hold me down and force drugs down my throat. 

It wasn’t until later that I realized how totally ridiculous this was. People either possess drugs because they like them and want to take them to get high, or because they want to sell them and make money. There is no instance where someone has drugs with the plan of jamming them down some 7th graders throat. No way that happens.

This was the first, but not the last, time that I was lied to about drugs. Here are 10 other lies I've heard over the years.

1. Man Takes LSD, Thinks He Is An Orange

This is the one that made me decide to write this piece. I have to admit, although I hate to do so, I have told this one. In my version, it was a guy I met at a party.

The story is so simple that it is unreal that it has lasted for so long. Basically, a guy takes LSD, then thinks he is an orange, or sometimes orange juice, and that is basically it. In the version I told, he was afraid that we were going to peel him at the party and begged us not to do so. In most stories, he thinks he is an orange for good and winds up hospitalized.

This lie has been around forever, and in the '60s was reported as factual in the news.  

I also used to tell a story about a girl at a party who took acid, and ended up thinking she was a duck. She took off all her clothes, got in the tub, splashed around and started quacking. That one was a lie too.

2. Shamboiling

Apparently shamboiling was for people that had no cash, no connections, and possibly no cable TV.  Basically, you are supposed to boil the shampoo, and inhale it, which then makes you hallucinate and makes you euphoric.

That is cool, I mean, if you’re into inhaling boiling shampoo but by all indications it not only won’t get you high, but it never even happened. It was just a prank to see how many people would try and get high off Prell.

3. One Marijuana Joint Has As Much Tar As A Pack Of Cigarettes

People have been saying this forever, that smoking a joint has as much tar as one pack of smokes. Well, it’s bullshit. It is oft-repeated that cannabis smoke has a higher chance of giving you cancer but that is simply not true. While tons of pot smoking may lead to bronchitis and other respiratory ailments, there is little evidence that pot alone can cause lung diseases, like emphysema, that are generally linked to cigarettes.

As a matter of fact, experts say that marijuana may cause cancer, or it may not.   

4. Dealers Are Putting Meth In Strawberry Quik.

This comes down to the same old thing: If there is a meth dealer in your town, odds are he is actually selling his meth, and not putting it in strawberry Quik so kids with no money can get hooked on it. Contrary to popular belief, most dealers aren’t monsters. They just want to make money.

Soon the DEA admitted this wasn’t going on at all. “We checked with all of our labs, and there's nothing to it," U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Michael Sanders said. "It's not a trend or a real problem; I think that this was maybe someone with good intentions but jumped the gun."

5. Jenkem, Made By Fermenting Raw Sewage, Is A "Popular Drug In American Schools" 

Okay. Seriously? Some of these okay, maybe, but this one was just ridiculous. Basically, one would put their feces and urine in a jar, let it ferment, then get like really, really high.

At one point, a DEA agent characterized it as "dangerous, bad and stupid." Another Washington D.C. DEA spokesman, Garrison Courtney, specified that, "We wouldn't classify it as a drug so much because it's feces and urine." 

Right. Good job on that. Obviously, this was not happening. Not at all.

6. Blue Star Tattoo

The blue star tattoo legend comes back around every few years. Usually it is in the form of a flyer or email, which is distributed to parents by concerned school officials. The flyer, or email, will state that a temporary lick-on tattoo soaked in LSD and made in the form of a blue star, is being distributed to children in the area in order to get them "addicted to LSD." 

Once again…why? Who would try and get kids addicted to LSD? Not to mention that it isn’t addictive. Sometimes, instead of a blue star it will be Minnie Mouse or Bart Simpson that people are warned about. 

Of course, it is always completely made up. Check out this awesome soliloquy by a guy who gives tax seminars on how he figured it out.

7. The Blue Clues Host Died From Heroin Overdose

I know, this is old news, but it was still a big fat lie and a lot of people bought it. In countless newspaper interviews and TV appearances since 1999, Steve Burns has had to deny kicking the bucket. For some reason, it just keeps coming around again. People seem to want to believe that Steve Burns, former TV host of the kiddie show Blues Clues, is dead.

The claim that he died due to a heroin overdose first appeared in the late '90s, No one knows exactly how or why the rumor began, but at one point it was spreading so fast that Burns' own mother heard it from a friend and frantically phoned him to make sure it wasn't true.  

One has to admit though, this one is gold. I feel badly for the guy, but someone, somewhere made this up and it is still kicking to this day. There is one happy troll out there somewhere.

8. Someone Is Out There Lacing Halloween Candy With Drugs

Right? I know it is the same theme, but it is one that won’t go away. For the last time, if your neighbor has drugs, literally the last thing he wants to do is give them to your 8-year-old. I can’t say it any other way.

There haven’t been any known cases of kids getting candy laced with drugs, but still, after all of these years, so many parents still freak right out about it. If it makes you feel better, although it probably won't, it is way more likely that someone you know will poison your candy than some stranger lacing it with drugs. You are welcome.

9. Child Dies After Being Pricked By Needle in Ball Pit

Guess what? It is a lie.  

It has been around forever in different incarnations. A typical example is an email from a concerned mother who played in a ball pit at a McDonalds or a playground. First, the kids says something hurts, then at home he starts to vomit, or otherwise freak out, he goes to the hospital and DIES from a heroin overdose.

Later, the ball pit is checked and there are all sorts of needles in there, which caused the poor kid to, you know, die.

Like all of the other stories about the dangers of drugs, it is totally false. 

10. PCP Makes You Violent And Possess Superhuman Strength

We have all seen and heard this one. The guy on PCP becomes violent, strong and acts like the Incredible Hulk. PCP messes with your perception, so actually the guy might think he is strong, and he might get violent if he is already violent, but all that other stuff is bunk. Actually, research shows that PCP does not in fact cause users to exhibit violent behavior or eat their own—or other people’s—faces, much anyway. This is not to say that PCP is a good idea. The last time I used PCP, around 20 years ago, I remember not being able to let go of a tree for hours, because the earth was moving. It isn’t as fun as it sounds.

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