NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Transcript from Chat Day 2010

If you used a screenname that looked like a real name, it has been removed and replaced with either initials or first name and last initial.

shell McCreary Academy, Kentucky:

if i smoked pot when i was 12 and i smoked it till i was like 14 how bad has it effected my brain

Nicolette Borek

You'd need some fancy brain imaging equipment and testing to know for certain. Researchers are looking exactly at this question - the effects of marijuana use on the developing brain and have found effects on learning, memory, and attention. The key at this point is not to continue to use, take excellent care of yourself (sleep! exercise! have good supportive friends! eat healthy!). For more info check out

JoeS Mainland Regional High School, New Jersey:

What percent of people relapse from drugs?

starprepacademy STAR Prep Academy, California:

Can you get high off of any prescription or over-the-counter drug?

Cindy Miner

No you can't get high off of just any prescription or over-the-counter drugs. For example, people don't get high from antibiotics. Only drugs that activate specific circuits in the brain will make you high. If you want to learn more about how drugs work in the brain to produce their euphoric effects check out our website,

nidachat Kingswood Regional Middle School, New Hampshire:

what should you do if one of your friends does drugs?

Lori Ducharme

When someone has a drug problem, it's not always easy to know what to do. If your friend is using drugs, encourage them to talk to a parent or another trusted adult such as a favorite teacher or a school guidance counselor. If they don't feel comfortable doing that, they can use anonymous resources, such as SAMHSA's crisis line (1-800-273-TALK) -- they help people with lots of different problems. Or if they're ready to think about treatment, your friend can check SAMHSA's Treatment Facility Locator for programs in your area ( -- there are programs out there just for adolescents. You can also contact these resources yourself and get advice on how to help your friend.Since you've asked this question, you probably already know that right now it's really important to be a good friend -- that means finding ways to offer advice without being judgmental, showing support by listening, and finding ways to offer help when they're ready to receive it. Thanks for your question. I hope this helps.

cbackus13 Middlebury Union High, Vermont:

How does smoking affect your health?

mulliganc Wantagh Middle School, New York:

hhheeeyyy david tomas do you like your job

David Thomas

hey, it is me! Yes, I do, but chat day has worn me out!!! And this is my last answer!

woahhhhhh New Egypt High, New Jersey:

is nicotine addictive?

Carol Krause

Absolutely. Yes. Completely.

tone7500 Faison Intermediste, Pennsylvania:

wat is marijuana

Carol Krause

Check out the marijuana section on,

taylor.l New Egypt High, New Jersey:

What is a significant myth about drugs that teens believe are true?

Carol Krause

The biggest myth has to do with prescription drugs. Many teens think they must be safe for everyone if they are prescribed by a doctor. In fact, they are only safe when taken as directed by the doctor. It is not safe to take someone else's prescription drugs. Did you know that in 2006, prescription pain medications, like Vicodin, were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine COMBINED? For more facts about drugs, read NIDA’s new booklet made for teens, Drugs: Shatter the Myths. You can find it (and even order it for free) at

warda Wantagh Middle School, New York:

Can drugs lead to diseases or death?

David Thomas

absolutely. Go to to learn more...