Drug Horrors

Urban legends about illegal drug use.

Demonization is a time-honored technique we use to band together and fight off a danger that threatens us all. Whoever our enemies may be — spiders, illicit drugs, or nations with whom we're at war — we create tales that show them to be evil incarnate. There must be no room left for doubt in public sentiment; no amount of embellishment or outright lying is considered excessive in service of the cause.

So it is with our ubiquitous tales about the horrors of illicit drug use. Dangers are exaggerated off the scale, and those who traffic in drugs are portrayed as unfeeling monsters. The message that drugs are bad is deemed far too important to be presented in anything less than stark black and white. Improbable, illogical, or downright impossible, these well-known (and apocryphal) stories are nonetheless circulated as the truth, even by those who should (and often do) know better.

White bullet Babysitter on drug trip cooks infant in oven.

Red bullet Students on LSD trip stare at the sun until blinded.

Red bullet Drug dealers give schoolchildren cartoon tattoos laced with LSD.

Red bullet Brain-damaged LSD user believes himself to be glass of orange juice.

Red bullet Drug dealers smuggle cocaine in the hollowed-out bodies of dead babies.

Red bullet Policeman unwittingly takes swig of liquid LSD and goes insane.

Red bullet Diane Linkletter accidentally jumped to her death while high on LSD.

Yellow bullet Man high on PCP slices off pieces of his face and feeds them to his dogs.

Multi-colored bullet Drug-laced suckers are being handed out to children in Arkansas.

Red bullet Someone who has taken LSD more than seven times is declared legally insane.*

White bullet Gnome captured in the woods by drug-tripping teens turns out to be lost child.

* Entries marked with an asterisk will display in a separate browser window.

David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.