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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what are the other names for cocaine?

-aniah,

nose candy, brain tabasco, blow, flake, coke, "C", snow .You can google slang terms for cocaine and come up with a lot of names. For more information, click on "Cocaine" on NIDA's website:
http://www.drugabuse.gov

-Frank Vocci

what are the other names for cocaine?

-aniah,

nose candy, brain tabasco, blow, flake, coke, "C", snow .You can google slang terms for cocaine and come up with a lot of names. For more information, click on "Cocaine" on NIDA's website: http://www.drugabuse.gov

-Frank Vocci

What are the possitive effects of steriods on a young devolping adolscent male

-bmdahmen,

That is an interesting question. You probably already know that your body produces a variety of steroids that help to regulate your growth, and help to maintain balance in your body (water regulation, stress control, suppression of the immune system). Adolescent males need a certain amount of testosterone to help them achieve their full adult height and the right proportion of fat and muscle, but a little goes a long way, and adding more does not add to those normal physiological functions. Adding more, as athletes tend to do, in large amounts has a number of harmful effects, such as possibly stunting your growth because of the hormone's actions on the growth plates in your legs, and suppression of your own natural production of testosterone. Many of the effects of steroids are not reversible. For example, the effect of steroids on growth is not reversible. If you want to know more about steroid abuse, go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/steroids-anabolic

-Nancy Pilotte

What are the potential risks of excessive amounts of caffeine?

-StarCraft,

excessive caffeine can lead to restlessness and insomnia. if you have heart problems it could make them worse. otherwise there is no evidence that it is per se harmful to your brain

-Nora Volkow

What are the side effects of Darvon?

-wild wild west,

Interesting question! The active ingredient of Darvon (R) is propoxyphene, which is an analgesic that can be prescribed by doctors. Some of the side-effects include somnolence, dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, constipation, mood changes and headache. One of the biggest concerns with this medication is that it can produce addiction.

-Ivan Montoya

What are the side effects of heroin

-Miss Klein,

Great question. Heroin is chemically much like morphine and other opiates, like vicodin, which are used to relieve pain but heroin is much stronger. Heroin can cause many problems, including death when a person takes to much. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are always at risk of overdose or death. But even if heroin doesn't cause death, it can cause a variety of other problems. For example, it can cause changes in the brain that cause a person to become addicted to heroin - they then need the drug to avoid going through a difficult withdrawal. Most people who use heroin reach a point where they will do anything to get heroin and their interest in other things, such as school, sports etc., disappears. Interestingly, one of the side effects of opiates is that they can cause intense itching. To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Nancy Pilotte

What are the signs and symptoms of drug abuse?

-lalalalalalalala,

Very good question. If a person is compulsively seeking and using a drug despite harmful consequences, such as not doing well at school or at work, having physical or mental problems brought on by drug abuse, or problems getting along with family and/or friends, then he or she is probably addicted. We don't have a perfect screening tool quite yet, but health care professionals who screen for drug use often ask questions like these to detect substance abuse in their young patients: Have you ever ridden in a car driven by someone (including yourself) who had been using alcohol or drugs? Do you ever use alcohol or drugs to relax, feel better about yourself, or fit in? Do you ever use alcohol or drugs when you are alone? Do you ever forget things you did while using alcohol or drugs? Do your family or friends ever tell you to cut down on your drinking or drug use? Have you ever gotten into trouble while you were using alcohol or drugs? Visit our NIDA for Teens website at https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/brain-and-addictionfor more information

-Eve Reider

What are the symptoms of cocaine overdose?

-Allen L,

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant with potent effects on the heart. The symptoms of overdose include enlarged pupils, a feeling of being "high" (euphoria), agitation, increased heart rate and blood pressure. With higher doses the person can have sweating, tremors, confusion, hyperactivity, seizures, irregular heart beats, and at very high doses sudden death can occur. For more information on cocaine please go to: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/stimulants

-Ivan Montoya

What are the symptoms of withdrawel???

-Ally N,

it depends on the drug. some generate much stronger symptoms of withdrawl than others. One of the drugs that produces the worst withdrawal is heroin--it can present with severe cramps, sweating, heart racing and seizures. Alcohol and other CNS depressants also can produce seizures and increase heart rate.You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov

-Nora Volkow

What are some of the symptoms of someone that is doing drugs?

-aburriss,

it depends on the drug and you can not always tell. people that are intoxicated with alcohol or marijuana can have uncoordinated movements. people that take heroin may have contracted pupils. people that are on cocaine or methamphetamine may seem to be moving or talking rapidly. someone that takes marihuana may appear to mellow. However people that take drugs regularly may be able to mask some of the effects of the drug, and appear normal.

-Nora Volkow

what are some other names for marajuana?

-DizzDaShizz,

There are many slang terms for marijuana.While they change from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood some common names are pot, grass, herb, weed, Mary Jane, reefer, skunk, boom, gangster, kif, chronic, and ganja.

-Jacques Normand

what are some physical signs of drug abuse?

-morgan, Pennsylvania

There are many different signs of drug use depending on the type of drug taken.Stimulants cause behavior like talkativeness, sleeplessness, or general "hyper" activities. Depressant drugs like tranquilizers or sedatives make people sleepy, drowsy, and unable to think clearly. If someone is addicted to drugs, the individual will exhibit overwhelming or uncontrollable urges to seek and use the drug, regardless of consequences such as poor performance in school, loss of friends, and loss of pleasure in things that used to bring pleasure.For more information about addiction, visit "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/.

-Steve Gust

What are some problems with heroine?

-acman1030,

Great question. Heroin is a powerful opiate, used to help control pain. Compounds similar to heroin are morphine, oxycodone, and vicodin. The biggest problem is that repeated use can lead to dependence. That means that you find it very hard to function normally without it. Like most abused drugs, it alters your ability to make good decisions, and if you have developed patterns of compulsive use, can take over many aspects of your life such that things that used to make you feel happy no longer do. This can also make you change your priorities, so that the drug becomes more important to your than your family, your friends, or your job.You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/

-Nancy Pilotte

what are some ways kids can get help

-briyah,

kids can get help getting off drugs from their parents, their doctors, their siblings, other relatives, or teachers For more on treatment and where you can find it, you can call the go to the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP or go to their website at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

-Nora Volkow

what are the affects of shrooms?

-vanessa,

These types of substances mostly cause hallucinations. Some of the specific active chemicals in shrooms (as you call them) are peyote, mescaline, and psyilocibin.We don't know what the long-term effects of abusing shrooms are, mainly because it's so difficult to do research on them in humans, but as you can imagine, driving or performing other such demanding tasks would be very dangerous, and some people have had bad reactions to these drugs.

-Barry Hoffer

what do you think science is?

-md9098,

science is a method used to extract objective information to help understand a process in nature

-Nora Volkow

what does adderall do to you

-needs to know,

Adderall is a brand name for amphetamine. Amphetamine is a stimulant, but it has different effects depending on whether you have a medical disorder or not. Doctors prescribe Adderall to people diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adderall helps ADHD patients focus and not get distracted, But when a person who doesn't have ADHD takes Adderall, they feel "high" and stimulated, which can lead to them taking Adderall again just for fun, which puts them on the pathway to addiction. You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/ and "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Steve Grant

What does addiction feel like? Does other people know you are using by how you look?

-S3MAreso.stu,

addiction feels bad, you want to control your behavior but you can't. not everyone can tell when a person is addicted and may need help and may not be able to tell by looking.For more on treatment and where you can find it, you can call the go to the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP or go to their website at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

-Nora Volkow

What does anabolic mean? Like steroids?

-Matty B=),

"Anabolic" is usually used in the context of steroids--anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances related to male sex hormones. The term "anabolic" means that it induces muscle growth.To learn more about anabolic steroids, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Steroids/AnabolicSteroids.html.

-Steve Gust

What does crack do to you?

-HOMO,

Crack is cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a free base for smoking.Crack cocaine is addictive and can make people who use it feel euphoric and energetic.It can also result in serious health effects such as heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures. Large doses can cause bizarre and violent behavior. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. --not good.For more information about cocaine, visit
http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Cocaine/Cocaine.html

-David Shurtleff

What does crack do to you?

-HOMO,

Crack is cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a free base for smoking.Crack cocaine is addictive and can make people who use it feel euphoric and energetic.It can also result in serious health effects such as heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures. Large doses can cause bizarre and violent behavior. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. --not good.For more information about cocaine, visit http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Cocaine/Cocaine.html.

-David Shurtleff

what does crystal meth do to you?

-britnimichne,

Crystal meth is another name for methamphetamine. It is a drug that increases wakefulness and physical activity, and decreases appetite. Chronic, long-term use can lead to psychotic behavior, hallucinations, and stroke. Like other drugs of abuse, methamphetamine produces a sense of euphoria by increasing the release of dopamine in the brain's reward centers, which leads to addiction and need for the drug.

-David Shurtleff

What does crystal meth do to your body?

-MiddleSchoolTetra,

Meth does a lot of things to your body as well as your brain. Your heart and breathing rates and blood pressure go up. Meth acts like adrenalin, the hormone that makes you feel the way you do when you're scared or highly stressed--and the effects last for hours. That's not good!You can find out more about that at:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/

-Steve Grant

What does crystal meth do to your body?

-MiddleSchoolTetra,

Meth does a lot of things to your body as well as your brain. Your heart and breathing rates and blood pressure go up. Meth acts like adrenalin, the hormone that makes you feel the way you do when you're scared or highly stressed--and the effects last for hours. That's not good!You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/

-Steve Grant

what do steroids do to your body?

-ItsChrisCrocker,

Steroids are actually human-made substances related to male sex hormones. As you probably know, some athletes abuse anabolic steroids to enhance performance. Steroid abuse disrupts the normal production of hormones in the body,and can lead to reduced sperm production and shrinking of the testicles. Other changes include male-pattern baldness and breast development in men-(Yuck!).In the female body, anabolic steroids cause masculinization. This means that females will experience decreases in body fat, coarsening of the skin,and deepening of the voice. Women may also experience excessive growth of body hair(chest, chin, back, etc.) and lose the hair on their head. Examples of other effects are increase of the risk of blood clots and damage to heart muscle. Steroid abuse has also been associated with liver tumors and a rare condition called peliosis hepatis, in which blood-filled cysts form in the liver. Both the tumors and the cysts can rupture, causing internal bleeding.Most important, with continued steroid use, some of these effects become irreversible. If you want to know more about steroid abuse, go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/steroids-anabolic.

-David Shurtleff

what effects do vicadin have on the body??

-suprasteve,

Its is an opiate analgesic so it can decrease pain. However it can also make a person feel high and with repeated use can produce addiction. For more information: http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Prescription/Prescription.html

-Nora Volkow

what exactly is dopamine?

-AHS,

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter similar to adrenaline. Dopamine is connected to the thought process, it affects a person's movement, emotional response, and the capacity to feel pleasure and pain. Shortages or Excessive Dopamine levels can impair your ability to think clearly, to remember things, or to control muscle movements, and can also affect your personality in many different ways. Drugs of abuse increase the release of dopamine in the brain's reward centers. With continued use and release of dopamine, individuals can become addicted to this effect and start to take the drug without even thinking about it. With continued use, drugs of abuse can affect decision making and affect your ability to learn new things. Eventually, the drugs can mess with your brain so much that you can lose control of your life.

-Joni Rutter

What happens to you if you use ecstasy?

-brittany,

Thanks for this question. MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences.You might find it interesting to know that MDMA exerts its primary effects in the brain on neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. For some people, MDMA can be addictive, as evidenced by continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological harm, withdrawal effects, and tolerance (or diminished response), and 34 percent met the criteria for drug abuse. Almost 60 percent of people who use MDMA report withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed feelings, and trouble concentrating. Chronic users of MDMA perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks. Some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with MDMA, among other factors. In high doses, MDMA can interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature. On rare but unpredictable occasions, this can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure, and death. Users of MDMA face many of the same risks as users of other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. These include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory problems or heart disease, and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating. Psychological effects have also been reported, and these can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. These problems can occur during and sometimes days or weeks after taking MDMA. If you would like more information on Ecstasy, you might want to check out: http://www.drugabuse.gov/Infofacts/ecstasy.html.

-Joe Frascella

What happens to your body when you use ecstasy?

-brittany,

Right after you take ecstasy you can feel relaxed and very social for several hours, depending on the dose. Sometimes people feel depressed after using it, and if you use it regularly it may have longer lasting effects, including damaging some nerve cells in your brain because ecstasy can raise your body temperature.For more about club drugs go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/club-drugs

-Barry Hoffer

what happens when a guy takes a birth control pill?

-ward2,

We don't really know....you might check with your physician if you've accidently taken a birth control pill

-Moderator