NIDA's Chat Day, More Questions on Marijuana

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NIDA Director, Dr. Nora Volkow, participates in CHAT DAY ’09; Image Courtesy of Chris Phillips, ICF Macro

Image Courtesy of Chris Phillips, ICF Macro

NIDA's annual DRUG FACTS CHAT DAY, held November 10, was a huge success. The computer-filled room where it happened vibrated with excitement, as more than 40 NIDA scientists eagerly tried to answer as many questions as they could. And questions they got. Teens from around the country sent in some 13,000 questions about drugs—wow, so nice to hear from you!

So what was different about Chat Day this year? Well for one, there seemed to be twice as many questions on marijuana. Maybe that's because the news lately is full of talk about marijuana (how confusing—some adults say it's bad for you, and others say it can be used as a medicine!). If you want to know how our scientists answered these questions, check out the CHAT DAY transcript, coming soon to http://www.nida.nih.gov/chat/.

What happens with the questions we didn't have time to answer? In the next few days, we will be reviewing all of the questions so we can learn more about what teens want to know about drugs. We're planning on adding what we find out to our teen Web site and we will blog more about it, too. If you think DRUG FACTS CHAT DAY sounds like fun, ask your school to sign up for next year. Schools will be able to register this summer. We'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, here's a list of some topics and the percentage of kids who asked about them this year.

30%: General questions (like "What's the worst drug?" or "Why do kids take drugs?")
20%: Marijuana 10%: Nicotine
8.5%: Alcohol
8.5%: Illegal street drugs like cocaine, meth, LSD, PCP, and ecstasy
5.0%: How do I get help for a friend or family member?
< 3%: Steroids, Inhalants, Rx Drugs, Pregnancy (questions like "Are drugs bad for the baby?")

Ok, so what would you or your friends have asked about?

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