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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do mushrooms have any long term effects on a person

-Thomas , Illinois

Hey Thomas! Good question! Mushrooms contain hallucinogens. Little is known about the long-term effects of hallucinogens. Short term effects include bad trips, increased heart rate and nausea. Long terms effects that have been reported include spontaneous flash backs and paranoia. More research is need on the long-term consequences of using hallucinogens.

-Roger Sorensen

Do nicotine patches or gum work to help someone quit vaping?

-mary, Illinois

Nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine patches and gum can help a person reduce the amount of nicotine they are consuming while vaping or smoking traditional cigarettes. Even though they don't produce tobacco smoke like regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not harmless. When you vape, you're inhaling several poisonous chemicals and it's a great idea to try and quit using a treatment method suggested by your health care provider, including nicotine patches or gum. For more information about vaping, see the NIDA Teen site: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/tobacco-nicotine-e-cigarettes.

-Michelle Jobes

do parents realize their child is doing drug often

-JP, Montana

Hi Again JP, According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health about 9.5% of 12-17 year olds said they used drugs and around 13% of said they drank alcohol in the month before the survey. Your second question is harder to answer. We don't really know if parents are aware of their children's substance use, but it's important to try and provide parents with all the resources they need to help keep their kids safe--which is really what all parents want to do (despite what it seems like sometimes!). If you or someone you know is having a drug abuse problem call 1-800-662-HELP, 24/7 or go to http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ to find information about treatment centers in your area. You can also talk to your school counselor or a teacher, who can help you get help...

-Jinhee Lee

do people dip marijuana blunts in heroin

-teletubbies123, Illinois

While not the most common way to take either marijuana or heroin, it's possible.

-Emily Einstein

Does LSD have positive affects on your brain?

-RD, Illinois

Hello RD

There are no known positive effects of LSD on the brain. Because LSD is made in labs, it can also be mixed with toxic (poisonous) chemicals that cause additional harm to your brain and body. There's more information here: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-di...

Thanks,
Roger

-Roger Little

does marihuana really affect your brain?

-remiso76,

Hi remiso76! Yes, marijuana does impact your brain, in many ways. Marijuana especially impacts the teen brain since your brain is not finished with development until you are in your mid-twenties. Plus, 17% of people who start marijuana use at a young age become addicted. More info on marijuana is available here: Marijuana: Facts for Teens booklet: www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens/letter-to-teens

-Emily Jones

Does marihuana really affect your brain? I've met people who used to be addicts and nothing seemed to be wrong with them

-remiso76,

Hi remiso76! Marijuana is psychoactive and regular use as a teen may harm the developing brain, making learning and memory worse. In other words, it changes how the brain works. Marijuana affects specific sites in the brain called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors send messages to different nerve cells throughout the nervous system. They affect brain areas that impact learning and memory, appetite, coordination, and pleasure so interfering with these receptors can have significant effects on your body. Marijuana: Facts for Teens booklet: www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens/letter-to-teens

-Mary Kautz

Does marihuana really affect your brain? I've met people who used to be addicts and nothing seemed to be wrong with them

-remiso76,

Hi Remiso76 -- It really does affect your brain in many visible and invisible ways. There are hundreds of well-conducted studies that have shown the effects of marijuana on people's brains. The fact that you haven't noticed any apparent changes in a person doesn't mean that their brain hasn't been severely affected. Please see this page to get the info you need to judge for yourself: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts#marij...

-Anto Bonci

Does marihuana really affect your brain? I've met people who used to be addicts and nothing seemed to be wrong with them

-remiso76,

Marijuana definately affects the brain. We are now funding a huge research project on looking at kids brains as they grow up and looking at exactly what happens if they start smoking marijuana. Hope to have more answers soon. But to learn more about marijuana and the brain, go here:

Marijuana: Facts for Teens booklet: www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens/letter-to-teens

-Dave Thomas

Does marihuana really affect your brain? I've met people who used to be addicts and nothing seemed to be wrong with them

-remiso76,

Thanks for your question, remiso76. All drugs, marijuana included, affect your brain. In fact, that's how drugs exert their effects on behavior. NIDA-funded research shows that marijuana use, when intiatied during the teen years, is associated with impaired thinking, memory, and learning. Studies suggest that because the teen brain is still developing early use of marijuana may alter the brain's reward system, putting them at higher risk of using other drugs and developing addiction. There is still a lot we don't know about how addiction develops (including who will become addicted and after how much exposure to the drug) and how any particular person will be affected. It's a litle like playing "Russian Roulette". The safest course of action is not to start using marijuana or other drugs in the first place.

-Marsha Lopez

Does marihuana really affect your brain? I've seen people who where addicts and don't seem to be affected

-remiso76,

Absolutely! When marijuana is inhaled, THC (the chemical in marijuana that causes the "high.") quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries it throughout the body and brain. As it enters the brain, THC attaches to cells, or neurons, with specific kinds of receptors called cannabinoid receptors. Normally, these receptors are activated by chemicals similar to THC that occur naturally in the body. They are part of a communication network in the brain called the endocannabinoid system. Most of the cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Marijuana activates the endocannabinoid system, which causes the "high" and stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain's reward centers, reinforcing the behavior. Other effects include changes in mood, lack of coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and disrupted learning and memory.

-Michele Rankin

Does marijuana "really" lead to other drugs? What studies suggest it is actually a "gateway drug"?

-tfworldlit, California

Excellent question tf
It can, but so can nicotine and alcohol. There is nothing special about marijuana in this regard. Many addictive drugs change the reward system in the brain so that it becomes more sensitive to the effects of other drugs. So, at your age, I'd stay away from every drug of abuse.
B smart, respect ur brain

-Ruben Baler

Does marijuana cause an bad affect on people to make them look bad ? Does it helps people with cancer ? Is marijuana the most bad smoking type?

-SM, South Carolina

Lots of good questions! Regular marijuana smokers have red, bleary eyes and often smell bad from all the marijuana smoke. The marijuana plant has not been approved by the federal government for the treatment of any medical condition. Some resesarch suggests that some of the active ingredients in marijuana, like THC and cannabidiol (CBD), may help treat some of the symptoms of epilepsy, cancer, obesity, or addiction. Scientists are studying these ingredients to try to develop new medications. A pill form of THC (an active ingredient in marijuana) is already available for certain conditions, such as nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. However, smoked marijuana is unlikely to be an ideal medication because of its negative health effects, including the risk of addiction and the damage that smoking can do to the lungs. There are studies showing that it can affect the developing teen brain, and teens should not use it.

-Carol Krause

Does marijuana destroy brain cells and restrict a person from thinking at times ?

-JE, South Carolina

Hi JE -- Many studies have shown that marijuana produces long-term negative effects on your brain. And yes, it can also produce mental health problems such as increased psychosis, lower IQ, and trouble thinking clearly, just to name a few. Here's a link so you can draw your own conclusions:
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-a...

-Anto Bonci

Does marijuana give you anxiety, stress, and mood swings, or less feelings of happiness

-LB, Illinois

Hi there - great question Yes it can. There are reports of marijuana users seeking treatment in emergency rooms, reporting unease and shaking, anxiety, paranoia, or hallucinations, and in rare cases, extreme psychotic reactions. Marijuana use can also increase risks for accidents and injuries.

-Michele Rankin

Does marijuana help in some cases for adolescents?

-Eline, Illinois

Hi Eline
There is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant called "cannabidiol." This has been found to be effective in treating some rare childhood seizures. Most of the commonly available cannabis/marijuana contains THC, which is addictive and causes a high and has limited health benefit to adolescents or adults.

-Geetha Subramaniam

Does Marijuana make you depressed

-LB, Illinois

Hi LB,
Addiction in general can lead to depression, and yes, this includes marijuana.

To learn more about marijuana's effects, see: Marijuana: Facts for Teens booklet: www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens/letter-to-teens

-Dave Thomas

Can you get addicted to smoking marijuana?

-Jovia, California

Hi Jovia,
This is a great question. YES. Cannabis products (marijuana, oils, waxes) can be addictive. When people get addicted to cannabis, they end up spending a lot of time using cannabis, keep using it even if it causes health problems (like a bad cough or asthma), need to increase the amount they use to get high and may have withdrawal symptoms when they stop or cut down on cannabis. This means that when they try to quit or reduce their usage, they may have trouble sleeping or concentrating, have a bad mood, or have trouble sleeping, and may have major cravings to use again. Here's a link to some information about cannabis that you may find helpful. https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana

-Wilson Compton

can you get addicted to vape if you only try it?

-...,

Thanks for your question! We have seen lots of questions about vaping! We still don't know all the effects of vaping because they haven't been around as long as "combustible" cigarettes. One thing we worry about with vaping is that they may lead to nicotine addiction and this might cause some people to start using regular cigarettes, which can cause cancer. Check out these resources on e-cigs – https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/tobacco-nicotine-e-cigarettes There is a lot we still don't know about who becomes addicted and 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.

-Mary Kautz

Can you get addicted to Vaping?

-Wiley Wildcat, Illinois

Hi again Wiley Wildcat. The answer to your question is Possibly. Most e-cigs contain nicotine, and often they are able to deliver as much nicotine to the person who vapes as someone would get from smoking a cigarette. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical, so the e-cig user could become addicted. Unless the person who vapes is using e-cigs to help them stop their smoking habit, e-cigs should be avoided. The teen years are critical for brain development, which continues into young adulthood. Nicotine affects the development of the brain's reward system, so continued e-cigarette use can lead to nicotine addiction. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/electronic-cigarettes-e...

-Kevin Walton

Can you get effects from second-hand inhaling juuls

-favianberganza, North Carolina

Thank you for joining us, favianberganza! Many of the chemicals, such as propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, chemical flavorings, and others, in the Juul liquid are still present in the vapor. If you have asthma or other respiratory conditions, inhaling the secondhand vapor may make your symptoms worse. Use this opportunity to talk to the people around you about protecting their health AND yours by quitting using Juuls. To learn more about tobacco, nicotine and e-cigs, see https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/tobacco-nicotine-e-cigarettes.

-Aaron White

can you get hi on salvia?

-Olatunji,

Great question!

The effects of salvia are not well studied. You can learn more about what we do know about Salvia here: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/salvia

-Vani Pariyadath

can you get high from eating weed if so will it make your breath smell bad

-GW, Maryland

Hi GW! This is an interesting question. In states that have legalized marijuana, there are stores that sell "edibles" which can come in all types of candies and baked goods. Eating these products do cause a high, however, it is easy to eat too much, because it takes longer to feel the effects. That has put a lot of people into the emergency room with bad symptoms, especially children. There has been at least one death of a toddler reported because the parents left edibles around the house, and the toddler ate them. "high". Smoking marijuana probably causes your breath to smell worse than edible marijuana.

-Michelle Leff

Can you get high off of elmer's glue?

-Chapoopoo, Illinois

Hi Chapoopoo
I think that elmer's is water based. so i think it's unlikely. The closer to an industrial strength glue you get the more dangerous it is. It is a bad idea to huff any volatile solvent.

stay healthy

-Ruben Baler

Can you get high off of huffing gasoline?

-Superdood, Illinois

Thanks for your question Superdood. Gasoline is a household item that can be aubused by hudding/sniffing. It can produce hallucinatory effects and (not to mention hazardous effects too) on your brain and body. Here is link to learn more about inhallants:
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/inhalants

-Steve Gust

can you get high off of huffing paint?

-wave check 1, Illinois

Hi Wave,
Yes, Huffing paint can deprive your brain of oxygen and can damage your brain, but can also make you light headed which some call a "high."

-Dave Thomas

Can you get high off of Ibuprofen pills?

-IO, Florida

Hi there. No. You can't get high from taking ibuprofen. However, you can be pretty sure that taking too much of anything is not safe. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID. These drugs are very good at fighting fevers and relieving pain from arthritis, injuries, etc. Taking too many Ibuprofen can cause serious side effects, including kidney failure or stomach ulcers and bleeding.

-Roger Sorensen

can you get high off of sniffing sharpie?

-El Chapo, Illinois

Good question, El Chapo. Products like felt-tip markers, spray paints, glues, and cleaning fluids contain dangerous substances with mind-altering properties when inhaled. People don't typically think of these products as drugs because they are not intended for getting high, but some people use them for that purpose. When they do, these substances are called inhalants. Inhalants are mostly used by young kids and teens and are the only class of substance used more by younger than by older teens. Inhalants can cause slurred speech, lack of coordination and dizziness, as well as brain and organ damage, seizures, coma, and even death.

-Bethany Deeds

can you get high off of whipped cream bottles

-gabi, New Hampshire

Hi Gabi. Inhalant gases can be found in household or commercial products including whipped cream dispensers. When someone uses a whipped cream bottle to inhale these gases, the lungs absorb chemicals into the bloodstream sending them throughout the brain and body. Regular use of inhalants can cause serious harm to vital organs and systems besides the brain. Damage to these organs is not reversible even when the person stops abusing inhalants. Keep your body and brain safe and don't try inhalants!

-Katia Howlett

Can you get high off sharpies?

-Kevin, Illinois

Dear Kevin, Maybe you could get high on sharpies but why? Spend your time doing something really fun and cool like playing music, participating in a sport, acing a test at school, or volunteering in your community. More information on drug use and teens can be found at: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/

-Redonna Chandler