NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Transcript from Chat Day 2011

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.

sfelder Sugar Land Middle School, Texas:

do rehab treatments raeally work

Joni Rutter

In addition to stopping drug abuse, the goal of treatment is to return people to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community. According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning. Unfortunately, when relapse occurs many deem treatment a failure. This is not the case: successful treatment for addiction typically requires continual evaluation and modification as appropriate, similar to the approach taken for other chronic diseases. For the addicted patient, lapses to drug abuse do not indicate failure—rather, they signify that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed.For more information, see www.drugabuse.gov/PODAT/faqs.html#faq3.

kmassey Sugar Land Middle School, Texas:

What is the best way for someone to quit using drugs?

Joe Frascella

I would encourage them to stop using drugs by having them become aware of the negative consequences drug use has on their brain and bod. You can refer them to: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/index.php . If they are unable to stop using drugs talk to them about treatment. 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 (http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov -- 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. More information about drug treatment can be found at: http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov . Take care of yourself and remember you can't make your friend stop using drugs - you can only support them. For more information on treatment, check out:http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ or 1-800-662-HELP, where you can find private and confidential help 24/7.

sshs12 Silver Stage High School, Nevada:

how much does it take to over dose on weed

Jim Bjork

Too many factors to say for sure. How pure is the sample? Is the user experienced such that their body is accustomed to it?

cperez Sugar Land Middle School, Texas:

what if u catch your cousin doing drugs what should u do

Joe Frascella

Hi - great question. If you know someone who is using drugs and want to help them stop, it's not always easy to know what to do. You can inform yourself with the harmful effects of drug abuse and addiction (see http://teens.drugabuse.gov/) and then try to encourage him or her to talk to a parent or another trusted adult, like a school guidance counselor, minister, friend, or family member. If your cousin doesn'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 kinds of problems. Or they can contact the Treatment Referral Helpline (1-800-662-HELP). Or you can contact these resources yourself for advice on how to help your cousin. Because you've asked this question, you probably already know that right now it's really important to be a good friend/cousin that is not judgmental -- you don't want to make your friend to feel like they're being judged, you can show support by listening, and find ways to offer help when they're ready to receive it. Good luck and I hope this helps.

pwillis Sugar Land Middle School, Texas:

Can you by the 'magic' mushrooms at the grocery store?

Jim Bjork

Nope. The mushrooms that contain psilocybin are not found in grocery stores. Sorry!

jmontenegro Sugar Land Middle School, Texas:

Can pain killers affect your health?

Joe Frascella

Yes they can. Opioids (such as the pain relievers OxyContin and Vicodin), central nervous system depressants, are the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Did you know that in 2006, prescription pain medications, like Vicodin, were involved in more overdose deaths that heroin and cocaine? For more facts about drugs, read NIDA’s booklet made for teens---called Drugs: Shatter the Myths. You can find it (and even order it for free) at http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/booklet.php Explore what happens when teens use prescription drugs such as pain killers here: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/peerx/choose-your-path/

master Rochester Adams High School, Michigan:

do teens smoke more in highschool or in college?

Marsha Lopez

Hi, what a good question! According to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Study, about 19% of high school seniors and 16% of college students report they are current smokers. So overall they're pretty similar---most people who smoke start in high school so if you can avoid it in high school it would be a smart heath strategy!

harry.h Dulles Middle School, Texas:

Can marijuana be put in a drink and have the same effects?

Dave White

Ingesting marijuana still produces a 'high' as with smoking. However, it takes longer to get into your system and since you don't know how much you're getting, it could ultimately be more dangerous and cause more paranoia and psychosis, as some emergency room reports have indicated.

pwillis Sugar Land Middle School, Texas:

Why do people do drugs to relive stress when there are other unharmful ways to do so?

Jim Bjork

Because drugs can act FAST to the brain-- and predictably-- for people experienced with them. They do so even at the risk of becoming addicted, unfortunately.

fkhan Sugar Land Middle School, Texas:

does treatment really work or can a person go crazy agin

Joe Frascella

Drug and alcohol treatment do really work. Quitting using alcohol and drug abuse/addiction can be very difficult, but treatment is quite effective.If you know someone that has a drug problem, it's not always easy to know what to do. If your friend is using drugs, encourage him or her 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 (http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov -- 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.

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