Start A Conversation: 10 Questions Teens Ask About Drugs and Health

Mother and teen girl viewing online resources together.


At the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), our goal is to help people get accurate, science-based information about drugs and health. For the past decade, researchers at NIDA have set aside a Chat Day each year during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® to answer questions teens have about drugs and health. We’ve compiled teens' 10 frequently asked questions from more than 118,000 queries we’ve received to help you start a conversation about drugs and health. It’s okay if some of this information is news to you—lots of other people are asking, too!


  1. Leventhal AM, Strong DR, Kirkpatrick MG, et al. Association of electronic cigarette use with initiation of combustible tobacco product smoking in early adolescence. JAMA. 2015;314(7):700-707. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8950
  2. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Published December 11, 2013. Accessed January 31, 2018.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health. Smoking and Tobacco Use, Fast Facts.,or%201%2C300%20deaths%20every%20day.&text= On%20average%2C%20smokers%20die%2010%20years%20earlier%20than%20nonsmokers.
  4. United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Risky Driving, Drunk Driving.
  5. Hedegaard H. Miniño AM, Warner M. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999-2019. NCHS Data Brief, no 394. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020. drug%20overdose,standard%20population%20(Figure%201) Accessed March 2021
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