Real Teens Ask: Can Your Brain Size Change From Drug Use?

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Three teens sitting and one is holding a skateboard

At NIDA's last Drug Facts Chat Day, mendythepenty asked this question:

"is it possible that you do so much drugs, that your brain can change into the size of a pea?"

When you do drugs, your brain changes. According to NIDA scientists, the brain weighs about three pounds and doing drugs, even for the first time, can change how our brain looks and works.

Assuming you're serious, does this literally mean it can shrink to the size of a pea? Probably not, but the fact that drugs can change your brain, never mind damage or kill brain cells, is enough for me! I want to be smart. To me, smart means cool, and it means healthy. And healthy means being able to live the life you choose, whether that's trying out for the basketball team, skateboarding with friends, or going to the school dance.

Discover more about how drugs affect the brain. And pass it on! You can read more real questions from kids in our NIDA Drug Facts Chat Day transcripts.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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