These questions were answered by more than 50 individual scientists and science writers with expertise in addiction. To get as many answered as possible, responses were written quickly based on the personal background and knowledge of each expert. Please note that there was not a secondary review or proofreading of each fact, and if readers have questions or comments about any response, they can ask further questions.

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can i smoke meth once and not be addicted


You can smoke meth once and not be addicted, but smoking meth even once greatly increases the likelihood that you will take meth again and again and again until you do become addicted. You can find out more about that at:

-Steve Grant

Can marijuana stunt growth?


We have no evidence of that

-Barry Hoffer

Can marijuana stunt growth?


We have no evidence of that

-Barry Hoffer

can over taking prescriptions kill you?


Yes, it can. in fact anything at a given dose can kill you, even water!! For more information on prescription drugs,

-Joni Rutter

can people get mental problems from doing drugs?


This is an excellent and complicated question. Drug abuse in general is associated with higher rates of many mental illnesses, like depression, schizophrenia and manic depressive illness. However, one can look at this from either direction:persons with mental illness may use more drugs than other people and early drug use may lead to later mental illness. The reasons why addiction and other mental disorders coincide so frequently are not fully understood. Children and adolescents with psychiatric conditions (conduct disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and learning disabilities) are at higher risk of abusing drugs than other youth. Also, you might find it interesting to know that there is evidence that drug abuse early in life may increase the risk of psychiatric disorders or accelerate their course. NIDA-supported investigators are using neuroimaging, genotyping, statistical modeling, and other tools to parse the interplay of risk factors in the development of such disorders. For further information see:

-Wilson Compton

Can you be addictive to over the counter drugs like advil?


there is no evidence that you can become addicted to advil

-Nora Volkow

can you get addicted to marijuana


This question is hard to answer precisely, especially since there is a lot we still don't know about who becomes addicted, why, and after how much drug exposure. We do know that each person is different with different vulnerabilities to drugs, so it'shard to predict a drug's effects on an individual.You might find it interesting to know that marijuana use has been associated with a number of mental conditions, including schizophrenia, depression and anxiety and in some people, marijuana use can make these symptoms worse. Research also shows greater rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking in people who smoke a lot. For more, see I hope you find this information helpful.

-Joe Frascella

can drugs break dow organs in the body???


some drugs can since they decrease blood to the organs which can damage them

-Nora Volkow

Can drugs cause disases such as A.D.D or A.D.H.D, if so, Why?


The relationship between drugs and mental or psychiatric disorders such as ADHD can be complex...we're still learning how they are related. Some drugs can effect attention which is also effected by ADHD.

-Nicolette Borek

can drugs cause short-term memory


i assume you mean can drugs cause short-term memory loss. Yes, some drugs do weaken memory. For example, marijuana impairs short term memory while you are under its influence. People who use marijuana regularly also have impairments in memory for a week or so after they stop.However, if they refrain from using marijuana for about a month, then their memory abilities recover. You can find out more about that at:

-Steve Grant

Can drugs make people violent


Drugs can lead to violence in several ways, depending on the type of drug and the individual circumstances. Certain drugs, such as PCP, have been reported to induce aggressive and violent behavior. Also, some addicts who experience withdrawal (the feelings that occur when addicts crave drugs but don't have any to use) can become very agitated and hostile, which can trigger violence. Finally, violence is also a common secondary effect of addiction, since many addicts will sometimes engage in criminal activities in order to get their next fix.

-Joni Rutter

can drugs make you do bad on a test?


yes drugs that impair your memory such as marihuana will make you not remember if you are intoxicated; alcohol decreases the function of your thinking brain if you are intoxicated; cocaine speeds you up too much so that you can no longer concentrate properly

-Nora Volkow

Can drugs make you go crazy?


Many drugs can make you "go crazy." Heavy doses or chronic use of many drugs can cause violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, extreme mood swings, and even psychosis.To learn more about the effects of specific drugs,go to

-Kevin Conway

Can drugs used once kill you?


That is an interesting question. Did you know that abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol contributes to the death of more than 100,000 Americans every year? People can die from their first use of Illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin because they affect parts of your brain that control your ability to breathe and maintain your beating heart. Here's NIDA's Website for teens with information on the science behind drug abuse, facts on drugs, questions and answers, real stories and interactive activities.

-Nancy Pilotte

can drus cause stds


when you are intoxicated with drugs you are much more likely to have unprotected sex and thus increase your risk for a sexually transmitted disease including HIV. You can find information for young people, parents and teachers about the link between drug abuse and HIV infection, with links to the latest research findings and news updates at

-Nora Volkow

Can having sex with someone who is a heroine addict increase your chance of getting HIV


It could, particularly if you are engaging in sex without a condom. Many people who are addicted to heroin may have shared needles when injecting the drug. Sharing needles is one of the primary ways to give or get HIV. Also, people who addicted to heroin are more likely to have unprotected sex and to have multiple partners. Since you can get or give HIV by having sex with someone, you could be at serious risk if your partner is infected. It's important to remember that unprotected sex with anyone can put you at risk for HIV, but unprotected sex with someone that is living a high-risk lifestyle is even more dangerous.

-Aria Crump

can i do heroin and not get addicted?


Not everyone who uses heroin becomes addicted. However, a single use can and sometimes does result in a fatal overdose. I had a friend who used heroin one time and OD'ed.

-Frank Vocci

can i get addicted to steroids?


Every user has different feelings and experiences when using steroids and coming off the drug. When someone stops using, they can experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms linked to addiction. Symptoms can include mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia,the desire to take more steroids, and depression. Evidence for steroid addiction is certainly not as strong as it is for other drugs like cocaine or heroin. Still,it is clear that people develop a tolerance and dependence on steroids and willingly experience negative consequences when using steroids,both of which are signs for drug dependence. 

-Kevin Conway
-MorganG, Maryland

Hi Morgan. It's a name for a water pipe. The water cools the smoke so that it doesn't burn the smoker's throat as much. They are commonly used in the middle east, often to smoke flavored tobacco. However, they are also used to smoke various drugs of abuse.

-Dave Thomas

1.How many people under 14 are addicted to drugs?


We don't know exactly. There is a data set that tells how many kids are treatment but the problem with those data is that they only capture the kids in treatment and who may or may not be addicted. In addition there are no doubt teens who are addicted but are not in treatment. The link for that data set is: . We know that, in 2006, of kids aged 12, 34,000 were diagnosed with substance dependence or abuse. For age 13 it was 67,000and 14 years 153,000.

-Liz Robertson

About how many people in the world do drugs???


Thanks for your question. The truth is that we don't know about the use of drugs in all of the countries throughout the world. In my travels while visiting countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, South America and Asia, I've learned that the rates of drug abuse vary from country to country. Opiates (like heroin)are common in some countries and stimulants are common in others. Also - you might be interested to know that including alcohol and tobacco, many people in all countries use drugs. NIDA has an International Program and you can visit the website at:

-Wilson Compton

Can cough drops hurt you?


any medication taken in excessive can have harmful effects but in general, when taken as directed, cough drops should not hurt someone.

-Nora Volkow

Can doing drugs at a young age screw up your life?


There is a lot we still don't know about who becomes addicted, why, and after how much drug exposure. We do know that each person is different, so it's a little like playing "Russian Roulette" if you choose to use drugs. But, if you do, the earlier you stop, the more likely you will be to avoid addiction and the harmful brain changes that lead to it. For more information, see

-Eve Reider

can doing drugs make you crazy and possibly dangerous?


some drugs can make a person psychotic such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, LSD. when a person is psychotic they can become dangerous if they believe someone is trying to hurt them.You can find out more about that at:

-Nora Volkow

Can doing more than one drug screw up your life more than doing just one kind of drug a lot??


It depends on which drugs you do and how much. Using more than one drug is actually a fairly common pattern of use. People with this pattern of use can become addicted to multiple drugs. They are often difficult to treat. Using one kind of drug a lot is bad also. You can become addicted to a drug and waste a lot of time when you're high. Some drugs can produce permanent damage to your brain, heart, and other internal organs. For more information about particular drugs and what they do, see NIDA's website: .

-Frank Vocci

Can drepresion be a reason to use drugs????


People who are depressed may turn to using illicit drugs to feel better, but that's a bad solution.Illicit drugs can make you feel high for a little while after you take them, but when they leave your body you won't feel any better--and maybe worse--than before you took them. With continued use, the period of feeling good grows shorter and the subsequent bad feelings worse. If you or someone you know feels depressed, talk to a doctor. There are many treatments for depression. There are medications that have been tested and approved by the FDA, and there are many treatments that do not involve taking medications.

-Steve Grant

can drugs affect your athletisism or will you stay the same


steroids can strengthen muscles and improve performance but in the long term, steroids can deteriorate your performance. drugs that are smoked like nicotine and marijuana can interfere with pulmonary function and thus deteriorate your performance.If you want to know more about steroid abuse, go to:

-Nora Volkow

do people use drugs in the bible?


After the Flood, the Bible says that Noah got so drunk that he passed out naked, which was very embarrassing for him. So people have long recognized the dangers of drug abuse.You can find out more drug abuse at:

-Steve Grant

Do steriods give you a high, or do they just increase your strenght?


they increase strength and can make you feel better.

-Nora Volkow