The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.
The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.

Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect.

A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slows you down). An even larger amount poisons and can kill.

This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.

But many drugs have another liability: they directly affect the mind. They can distort the user’s perception of what is happening around him or her. As a result, the person’s actions may be odd, irrational, inappropriate and even destructive.

Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones with the unwanted. So, while providing short-term help in the relief of pain, they also wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’s thinking.

Medicines are drugs that are intended to speed up or slow down or change something about the way your body is working, to try to make it work better. Sometimes they are necessary. But they are still drugs: they act as stimulants or sedatives, and too much can kill you. So if you do not use medicines as they are supposed to be used, they can be as dangerous as illegal drugs.

why do people take drugs?

People take drugs because they want to change something in their lives.

Here are some of the reasons young people have given for taking drugs:

  • To fit in
  • To escape or relax
  • To relieve boredom
  • To seem grown up
  • To rebel
  • To experiment

They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs become the problem.

Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the consequences of drug use are always worse than the problem one is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.


These pages of drugfreeworld.org are based on the content of our fourteen easy-to-read booklets in The Truth About Drugs series.

These booklets are free and can be ordered as a set or individually. You can give them to friends, family and others who should know the facts they contain.

Refer others to this website.

Click here to order your FREE The Truth About Drugs booklets.
To see the references to The Truth About Ritalin click here.


  1. Drug Enforcement Administration Fact Sheet on Prescription Drug Abuse
  2. Monitoring the Future–National Results on Adolescent Drug Use, Overview of Findings 2007, National Institute on Drug Abuse
  3. U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, Testimony by Nora D. Volkow, MD, before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, 12 Mar 2008
  4. Emergency Department Visits Involving ADHD Stimulant Medications, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 2006
  5. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  6. “Millions Have Misused ADHD Stimulant Drugs, Study Says,” Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post, 25 Feb 2006
  7. “NIDA InfoFacts: Stimulant ADHD Medications—Methylphenidate and Amphetamines,” National Institute on Drug Abuse
  8. Vanderbilt University Psychology Dept.
  9. The Harvard Crimson
  10. Center for Substance Abuse Research
  11. Novartis (Ritalin description)
  12. University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
  13. University of Indiana Prevention Resource Center
  14. Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  15. New York University Health Center