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 here.

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Can a person exposed to second hand smoke also be exposed to nicotine?

-Jo,

Yes, a person exposed to second hand smoke will inhale nicotine. Did you know that tobacco is linked to an estimated 440,000 deaths per year? For more, see http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/tobacco

-Frank Vocci

Can a woman get addicted more faster to a drug than a man?

-awright,

It depends on the genetics of the person. Some people inherit genes that make them more vulenrable to addiction than others. We are studying whether women overall are more sensitive to addiciotn than men,but the results are not conclusive.

-Nora Volkow

can sniffing glue make you high?

-reddie22,

As ridiculously bad as it seems (and as it is) some people sniff glue to get high. By displacing air in the lungs, inhalants deprive the body of oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia. This can cause slurred speach, or dizziness, lack of coordination, dizziness, and euphoria. Go to http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/inhalants.html to learn more about sniffing glue and why it is a terrible idea (I mean, you like your brain, right?)

-Elisabeth Davis

can steroids cause any problems with your body?

-ham223,

No doubt about it. There is a long list of serious mental and physical effects, some long term and even irreversible, that can occur after abusing anabolic steroids. For a good description of these effects please visit: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/anabolic-steroids

-Ruben Baler

Can using drugs or dinking alcohol daily change your atitude/ personality?

-=],

Yes, it depends on the drug and your own personality. Repeated use of some drugs produces depression and anxiety. In some people this can lead to irritability and intolerance for others. Some drugs can produce paranoia that can make people aggressive. Other drugs decrease innhibitions which can make people behave in ways that would embarass them.

-Nora Volkow

can weed affect your social status

-AsianInvasion,

Yes, it can--and not for the better. Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a persons existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers said that they were worse off than nonusers in several important measures of life achievement including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.The good news is that according to the 2007 Monitoring the Future surveya national survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders--fewer kids have been using marijuana each year since the late 1990s. Between 2000 and 2007, past-year use decreased more than 20 percent in all three grades combined. Nevertheless, marijuana use remains at unacceptably high levels, with more than 40 percent of high school seniors reporting use at least once in their lifetimes.

-Eve Reider

can weed effect the baby and make it have problems forming if you are prego?

-shanana,

Hey there - yes, weed/marijuana can affect the baby 'in utero' (which means during pregnancy). We've got a couple of studies on this - including one that has followed the kids from the prenatal/in utero/pregnancy stage until they were adults. And guess what, yep, these studies have found subtle developmental effects on things like attention and cognition. Tobacco use can also affect the baby. We recommend pregnant women not use alcohol or drugs including tobacco if they are, and ask their doctor for some help if they are having trouble stopping.

-Nicolette Borek

can weed effect you sexual life?

-papajohnpompili,

Good question. It can indirectly. When a person is under the influence of marijuana their judgment can be skewed. They might make risky decisions about sex that could put their health at risk.

-Anna Staton

Can weight loss pills have a harmfull effect?

-yhs Sarah,

Good question. Lots of people think that pills aren't dangerous because they come from a pharmacy or a doctor. When taken outside of a prescription or in larger amounts or for a longer time, prescription drugs can be harmful and addictive. See www.drugabuse.gov for more info on prescription drugs.

-Wilson Compton

Can you answer at least one of my questions becaus eit will get me extra credit?.........please

-Mz.Candy Girl,

Hey, we want you to get extra credit....we are answering as many questions as we can as quickly as we can. Hang in there!

-Cindy Miner

Can you beat cancer if you smoke weed? A man named steve said he got ride of caner like that

-rayfina,

I wish it were that easy! Marijuana, or weed, is not currently approved by the FDA for treating any medical illness. Components of marijuana are currently available (e.g. THC as marinol) for certain medical conditions, such as nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and weight loss in patients with AIDS. Perhaps that is what Steve was referring to- it helped him feel better as he was being treated for cancer. Research is ongoing to develop new medicines based on the parts of the marijuana plant that are used as treatments. But marijuana itself negatively affects memory, judgment, and perception. Under the influence of marijuana, you could fail to remember things you just learned, watch your grade point average drop, or crash a car. It can have significant adverse health and social consequences associated with its use, in addition to the risk of addiction. Marijuana is also often smoked in conjunction with tobacco, which is known to cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, blood, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. For more information go to http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana Thanks for your question!

-Marsha Lopez

Can you become addicted to performance enhancing drugs like steroids?

-Vikings,

Hi, that is a really good question. At first steroids affect your brain differently than other drugs of abuse. The most important difference is that steroids do not trigger the high that often drives abuse of drugs. However, if you continue to use steroids they will change and affect your brain the same way that other drugs do. In addition to affecting mood and behavior in significant ways, seroids can also stunt your growth (if you haven't reached your full height yet), they can feminize your body if you are male--enlarge your breasts, shrink your testicles; and they can masculinize your body if you are female--deepen your voice, cause hair growth in places you dont want, and cause severe acne. In the long run, they can wreak havoc with your cardiovascular system. For more information on steroid abuse and their health effects please go to http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/anabolic-steroids.

-Marsha Lopez

Can you die from doing different drugs at multiply times?

-DJRocks123,

Absolutely. We've seen that the number of people dying from drug overdose has increased dramatically in the past few years. According to the CDC,* over 20,000 people in the US die from drug overdose each year. Did you know that tobacco is linked to an estimated 440,000 deaths per year? *CDC is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; www.cdc.gov.

-Wilson Compton

can inhaling sharpies make you high?!?!?!

-mmmegan(,

Sharpies do contain solvents that shouldn't be inhaled. Inhalants in general can be very dangerous if intentionally inhaled or "huffed." By displacing air in the lungs, inhalants deprive the body of oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia. Hypoxia can damage cells throughout the body, but the cells of the brain are especially sensitive to it. For more info please check out www.drugabuse.gov.

-Anna Staton

CAN MIXING DRUGS, SUCH AS MIXING WEED WITH COKE BE TWICE AS LETHAL. HURRY AND ANSWER I ONLY HAVE 8 MINUTES

-patmcgroin,

Mixing drugs can definitely be more dangerous and lethal, depending on the drug combination, the amount of drugs consumed, and one's own individual vulnerabilities to the drug effects. Try to avoid mixing drugs. For more information, please visit http://drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/. I hope this helps.

-Joe Frascella

Can people see things that are not there when they are high??

-ozlin,

Hi Denbigh..You bet! There are many drugs that can cause hallucinations. For example, LSD can induce experience delusions and visual hallucinations. These experiences can be extremely frightening and lead to pschotic-like behavior....Not good! Want more information on LSD and other hallucinogens? Click on www.teens.drugabuse.gov

-David Shurtleff

Can pot hurt a baby in the womb?

-reddie22,

Hey there - yes, pot/marijuana can affect the baby in utero (which means during pregnancy). We have a couple of studies that look at the long-term effects of marijuana exposure during pregnancy - including one that followed babies until they were adults. And yes, these studies have found subtle developmental effects, on attention and thinking and other brain functions. Lots of people who use pot also smoke tobacco, and we also know that tobacco use can affect the developing baby. We recommend that pregnant women not use alcohol, marijuana/weed, tobacco or other drugs during pregnancy and that they talk with their doctors if they do, and ask for help if they are finding it difficult to quit. You can find more info on marijuana at www.marijuana-info.org .

-Nicolette Borek

can pot lead up to other drugs? i dont think it does because you just get a little high

-melissa,

Good question. Is marijuana a gateway drug? The gateway concept is one that generates a lot of controversy, is not yet scientifically settled, and could also be applied to nicotine or alcohol. And, while it is true that most people who use other drugs have also used marijuana (and nicotine, alcohol), it is not true that most marijuana users go on to use other drugs. Moreover, it is important to recognize that marijuana itself presents significant health risks, including the risk of addiction.

-Jan Lipkin

can taking steroids really afect your growth of your genital areas

-joe91@yonkershs,

The abuse of steroids can have many serious consequences, which include effects on the reproductive system. In males, long term use of anabolic steroids can shrink the testicles. Health consequences associated with anabolic steroid abuse include:

-Ruben Baler

can u get adicted to drugs after one try?

-0001,

Hi there! Not usually, but it can happen. It depends on the drug, on how you take it (smoked, orally, intravenously), how much of it you take, and it also depends on you. Some people are more vulnerable than others. If you have a family history of drug problems--that's a big red flag, but even if you don't you may have other risk factors that make you vulnerable. For more information go to http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/brain-and-addiction. Thanks for your question!

-Marsha Lopez

can u overdose of marijuana

-AsianInvasion,

I have a complex answer for you here. Using marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes, and it can even be addictive. Chronic or long-term exposure to marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, can harm the lungs. The use of marijuana xan impair short-term meory, verbal skills, and judgment and can also distort perception. Data show that students who smoke marijuana regularly get lower grades and are less likely to graduate from high school, compared with their non-smoking peers. In addition, marijuana has been associated with a number of mental conditions, including schizophrenia (psychosis), depression, and anxiety. We don't know yet whether marijuana can cause mental illness, particularly in healthy people who are not otherwise vulnerable to these disorders. There is good new though, since there is evidence that if you quit using marijuana, even after long-term or heavy use, your cognitive abilities (learning and memory) can recover.

-Jan Lipkin

can you die from drugs like tylenol

-ppbf,

If you take very high doses it can damage your organs (e.g., the liver) and you could die from it

-Nora Volkow

Can you die from marijanna?

-green1991,

With marijuana you are mostly likely to die if you get behind the wheel when intoxicated. Marijuana affects your judgment, as a result, you can put yourself in dangerous situations, plus it's often combined with alcohol--increasing the potential for dangerous decision making. Go to
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuanafor more information. Thanks for your question!

-Marsha Lopez

Can you die from marijanna?

-green1991,

With marijuana you are mostly likely to die if you get behind the wheel when intoxicated. Marijuana affects your judgment, as a result, you can put yourself in dangerous situations, plus it's often combined with alcohol--increasing the potential for dangerous decision making. Go to http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana for more information. Thanks for your question!

-Marsha Lopez

Can you get a disaese from smoking?

-tomotuhombre,

Yes, smoking can cause heart disease, lung disease ( chronic bronchitis abd emphysema), and 15 different kinds of cancer. See http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/tobacco for more info.

-Frank Vocci

can you get addicted to drugs after one try?

-upsidedown,

Drug addiction usually results from repeated use of a drug of abuse over time. However, a single use of some drugs at high doses can cause death due to overdose. A single use of a drug can also seriously impair your judgment and that can lead to dangerous behavior such as driving a car while under the influence, driving with others that are under the influence, which could lead to a fatal accident-not good!

-David Shurtleff

can you get addicted to drugs after one use?

-lala21,

That's a tough but very good question. The process of becoming addicted is not like a switch, but more like a slippery slope, this is why the right choice is never to start. For some people the slope is steeper than for others and that first experience can be so powerful that the user feels compelled to try it again. Slowly this person may loose control over his ability to stop using the drug. So, the straight answer to your question is no, but you must know that even one use can put some people in a downward path to addiction. For more information go to: www.drugabuse.gov

-Ruben Baler

can you get addicted to drugs after only one try?

-upsidedown,

Good morning and thank you for your question. Scientists are not certain as to what makes a person become addicted to drugs, but we do have some very good clues. A person's genes, their age as well as the environment that they llive can affect a person's chances of becoming addicted to drugs. For example, having a parent that is an addict, being young and associating with friends who use drugs can all increase our chances of doing drugs and thus increase our likelihood of becoming addicted. Scientists are doing research to learn more about addiction and how these factors contribute to addiction. Generally people do not get addicted after using a drug once. It is a bit like playing Russian roulette with some drugs as there have been reports of people taking a drug for a single time that lead to a lifetime of addiction. Its better to not try any drug even once! Click on www.abovetheinfluence.com for more information!

-David Shurtleff

can drugs make you sucidal?

-yesitsmichaela!,

Hi Denbigh! Yep, taking some drugs of abuse can lead to depression-like effects that could lead to suicidal thinking. Also, taking drugs while depressed could also increase suicidal ideation. You should click on www.teens.drugabuse.gov for more information.

-David Shurtleff

Can drugs affect your brain

-awright,

Yes, drugs act by affecting how the brain works. All activate pelasure centers, but they also affect areas involved with memory and learning, mood, sleep and a variety of other functions.

-Nora Volkow