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 depressents?

-cutiepie15,

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are "depressants."Pentobarbital and phenobarbital are examples of barbiturates. Both barbiturates and benzodiazepines are useful in treating anxiety, insomnia, agitation, and seizures--but they are also abused and can cause serious heath consequences and risk of addiction if taken without a prescription. For more information about depressants, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Prescription/prescription7.html.

-David Shurtleff

What are mental and physical effects of using heroin?

-S3MAreso.stu,

mental effects include dependence and addiction. dependence symptoms that will emerge when you stop the drug can include cramping, seizures, sweating, racing heart. addiction is the changes that occur when you lose control over the drug taking and can not stop even when you want to

-Nora Volkow

what are physical risks of marijuana

-health class,

Marijuana increases heart rate immediately after it is smoked-which can be dangerous for some people. And someone who smokes marijuana regularly may develop some of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, a heightened risk of lung infections. Marijuana can also effect judgement and decision making leading to dangerous behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated, thus increasing the risks for accidents and other problems. If you want to learn more about the negative effects of marijuana abuse please visit http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Marijuana/default.html

-Barry Hoffer

What are physical signs of abuse or addiction?

-sgagnon,

the signs of addiction can include the loss of control in the intake of drugs and the inability to stop even when someone wants to do so

-Nora Volkow

What are possible recovery methods for tobacco withdrawal?

-lilbits828,

In tobacco, nicotine is responsible for tobacco withdrawal symptoms. Clinical trials have shown that the combination of pharmacotherapy (medication)and behavioral interventions (therapy) is the most helpful in people quit smoking and manage their nicotine withdrawal. Pharmacological interventions could include nicotine replacement therapies (nicotine gum, patch, nasal spray, etc.). Behavioral intervention teaches people how to deal with craving, avoid high risk situations and prevent relapse.If your doctor thinks its a good idea, you might also receive certain kind of antidepressants to increase the success of your effort. Additional information is at www.smokefree.gov

-Petra Jacobs

what are some affects of drugs?

-coolcat69,

One of the most serious consequences of using drugs of abuse is addiction. Addiction is experienced as uncontrollable drug craving, drug seeking, and drug use that persists even in the face of extremely negative consequences such as losing your job, doing poorly in school, and not taking pleasure in the things that used to bring you pleasure. Drug seeking becomes compulsive, in large part as a result of changes to the brain due to prolonged drug use.Drug addiction is a condition that can become chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.Some drugs are "toxic" and can cause damage to organs such as the heart.To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/.

-David Shurtleff

what are some common types of remedies for drug addiction?

-sm,

Drug abuse treatment is the most common and effective remedy for drug addiction. For more information on treatment and where you can find it, visit the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP or go to their website at http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

-Eve Reider

What are some effects of taking meth?

-Jcup,

it accelerates your heart, decreases your need for sleep and food , can make you very anxious and paranoid. with repeated use it can make you addicted

-Nora Volkow

what are some immediate effects of using steriods

-13cauds,

it can make you feel good and strengthen your muscles and stamina. in the long term it will decrease your hormones and can make you feel depressed and even suicidal, and there are a variety of other health effects as well. If you want to know more about steroid abuse, go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/steroids-anabolic

-Nora Volkow

What are some long term effect of using exctasy or what is known as the X pill?

-Kim and Ang,

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; this can have deadly effects. For more about club drugs go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/club-drugs

-Barry Hoffer

What are some long term effect of using exstasy or what is known as the X pill?

-Kim and Ang,

the x pill is ecstasy- ecstasy can damage serotonin cells in your brain which are cells that regulate mood and as a result it can increase the risk for depression

-Nora Volkow

what are some of the effects that could happen to you if you smoke marajauna?

-Jessucka :),

There are many long-term effects of smoking marijuana. The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes, and,contrary to popular belief,it can be addictive. Marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, can harm the lungs. The use of marijuana can impair short-term memory, verbal skills, and judgment, and also distort perception. Marijuana has been associated with a number of mental conditions, including schizophrenia (psychosis), depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. It also may weaken the immune system and possibly increase a user's likelihood of developing cancer.For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

-Kevin Conway

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 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 birth effects do drugs have on babies

-articfrost1564,

it depends on the drug and the time at which the fetus is exposed to them. Alcohol can produce organ malformations and mental retardation, nicotine and MJ can interfere with normal brain development, cocaine and methamphetamine can affect blood delivery to the fetus and interfere with overall growth.

-Nora Volkow

What body parts besides the brain are affected by drugs?

-Dealer_of_teh_drugs,

well it depends on the drug that's being abused. some body parts that may be impacted include the heart, skin, teeth, lungs,and reproductive organs. for more information on the consequences associated with specific drugs please go to www.drugabuse.gov.

-Nora Volkow

What does heroin withdrawal look like?

-Allen L,

It is not pretty.The person in withdrawal looks like someone with a bad case of the flu. They are typically sweaty, have a runny nose, increased respiration, increased heart rate, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes goose-flesh. It's the goose-flesh symptom that gives heroin withdrawal the term going "cold turkey"--since the person's skin looks like a plucked turkey.

-Frank Vocci

what does marajuna do to your brain??

-julie&adrirock,

it can make you feel high and mellow. with repeated use it can change how the areas involved with memory work. it can also make you paranoid and you can become addicted

-Nora Volkow

what does marijuana do to your body?

-==>B-r-Y-a-N,

Marijuana increases heart rate immediately after it is smoked-which can be dangerous for some people. And someone who smokes marijuana regularly may develop some of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, a heightened risk of lung infections. Marijuana can also effect judgement and decision making leading to dangerous behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated, thus increasing the risks for accidents and other problems. If you want to learn more about the negative effects of marijuana abuse please visit http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Marijuana/default.html

-Barry Hoffer

What does speed do to your body?

-herbst,

Speed (aka methamphetamine) is a particularly toxic drug, which causes brain damage and can increase the risk of stroke. There is a long list of really bad consequences of meth abuse, to learn more about them please visit http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Methamphetamine.html

-Barry Hoffer

what does stress do to your body

-toodaloo310,

The effect of stress on your body depends on lots of things, like how long you've been stressed and where the stress is coming from and how sensitive you are to stress. In general, the body responds to stress first by gearing up to deal with it. Things like increases in heart rate and breathing can help give you energy to get through the stress.In extreme circumstances, if the stress is severe or lasts a long time,your body can react by getting sick, such as headaches or ulcers or you may be more likely to get a cold.

-Melissa Riddle