I will always stick by my line that: Drugs can make you high, drugs can make you die. I teach that as a fact. I have seen it in the ER and in the Coroner’s Office.
But just as the evils of “demon rum” were over-hyped in the 30s (I remember doing a dramatic interp reading on that topic in speech contests in high school), the evils of drugs (general and specific) can be over-hyped today. It does no one any good to over-do the presentation on the very serious problems associated with drug and alcohol use. When the “audience” can see even a bit of it as a lie, they will often assume that the whole thing is a lie and ignore it all. If you say using a certain drug will always lead to addiction or always lead to other drugs, or will cause the user to become some crazed drug-using fiend, the audience only has to know one individual (although they likely know several) for whom that is not true and your argument collapses like a house of cards.
I plan to write more on the current “meth madness” media blitz, but let me first throw out a link to SAMHSA data (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) that demonstrates the likelihood that it is a growing epidemic is false with no raise in their stats of first time users 1971 through 2003. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that meth is bad and that it is a problem, but I think we would be better served concentrating on the 2.7 million chronic cocaine users and 1 million heroin addicts in this country rather than a probably over-hyped “newsy” drug problem. Although strategies that decrease the use of a given drug very likely will decrease the use of other drugs.