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 happens when u do pcp?

-Nick,

PCP (phencyclidine) was actually developed as general anesthetic for surgery. When someone takes PCP, it can distort perceptions of sight and sound and produce feelings of detachment (dissociation) from the environment and self. Because of this, PCP is known as a"dissociative anesthetic." PCP acts by altering the distribution of the neurotransmitter glutamate throughout the brain. Glutamate is involved in the perception of pain, responses to the environment, and memory. Many PCP users are brought to emergency rooms because of overdose or because of the drug's unpleasant effects. For more information about PCP, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Hallucinogens/Hallucinogens.html.

-David Shurtleff

what happens when you do two different drugs on the same day?

-bianca,

That is a great question. The answer depends on which drugs you combine. So for example, a physician may prescribe two medications to help you with a health problem. Then it can be helpful. But when taking illegal drugs, it is almost always harmful when you take more than one drug. One drug often adds to the effect of other drugs so that taking more than one drug may increase the harmful effects of a drug. The precise effects depend on the two drugs that are combined. For information on about the latest science-based drug abuse facts, publications, and teaching materials for parents, teachers and students for to http://www.backtoschool.drugabuse.gov/

-Nancy Pilotte

What happens when you mix ectasy and alcohol, what are the affects?

-Brush,

This is a good question. Alcohol is a sedative and mixing alcohol with other drugs can be very dangerous and unpredictable. Instead of getting a little drunk, someone may become completely intoxicated and unable to function. You just don't know the effects.

-Wilson Compton

What drugs affect many different parts of your body? For example, some drugs only affect one place of your body....which drugs will be effecting your whole body?

-crazyblondegal12,

all drugs are distributed to all the body and thus all drugs in principle can affect more than your brain. for example, alcohol affects brain and liver. cocaine affects brain and heart. nicotine affects brain, lung and heart. And marijuana affects brain and lungs. You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov

-Nora Volkow

What drugs are most likely to kill you?

-Ashley,

all drugs can kill in various ways. their lethal effects will depend on doses, combinations and a person's unique genetics. the drugs that are most frequently associated with death are heroin because of respiratory depression from overdose, alcohol from intoxication and increases in car accidents, and cigarettes from lung and other cancers

-Nora Volkow

what drugs can stunt your growth

-zac,

Abusing steroids (the so called, androgenic anabolic steroids) can cause you not to reach your intended height because they send early signals to the bones to stop growing. Some stimulants have also been reported to stunt growth.

-Barry Hoffer

What drugs have addictive properties

-sm,

All drugs are potentially harmful and may have life-threatening consequences associated with their abuse.These include amphetamines (or speed), opiates such as heroin,cocaine, PCP, tranquilizers, marijuana, smokeless tobacco products, and cigarettes. How quickly you might become addicted to a drug depends on many factors including the biology of your body.There are also vast differences among individuals in sensitivity to various drugs. While one person may use a drug one or many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may be particularly vulnerable and overdose with first use. There is no way of knowing in advance how someone may react. To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Frank Vocci

what drugs make you commit scuiside

-briyah,

Thanks for your question. The main issue to keep in mind is that all drugs can affect someone's mood. Some drugs cause people to make very bad decisions, including wanting to kill themselves. Working in an emergency room as a doctor, I often took care of people who attempted suicide while they were drunk or high on many different substances. Almost always, when the person sobered up, they didn't feel so bad and didn't want to die.If you are concerned about someone and want to help him/her, please let them know that treatment is available and can be found at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP or go to their website at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

-Wilson Compton

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

what does thc stand for

-jwphealth,

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is one of hundreds of chemicals in marijuana.For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana.

-Steve Gust

WHAT DOES WEED DO TO YOU?

-karinochka,

Weed is marijuana.Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. Nearly 45% of teenagers try marijuana before finishing high school. It can be addictive, and can affect learning and memory, which is not good if you're trying to do well in school.Marijuana can also cause cancers associated with using inhalants. For more information see http://www.drugabuse.gov/MarijBroch/teens/.

-David Shurtleff

what drug do you feel is most addictive physically

-Health Class,

This question is hard to answer precisely. 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. 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 http://www.drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/addiction.html. Hope this helps, and thanks for the good question.

-Joe Frascella

what happens if you inhale smoke?do your cilia get paralyzed for 20minutes?

-amar2193,

it depends on the amount you inhale, the temperature in the air, and your respiratory function

-Nora Volkow

What drug is most dangerous?

-Monica,

That's a good question. All drugs can be potentially dangerous. It depends on lots of factors, especially since there is still a lot that we don't know about who becomes addicted and why. We do know that each individual is different, so it is really difficult to determine why one person may have one reaction, and another may have a more severe reaction. Here is a source of free information about the latest science-based drug abuse facts, publications, and teaching materials for parents, teachers and students. http://www.backtoschool.drugabuse.gov/

-Joe Frascella

what drug is the most commonly used illegal drug among middle school and high school students?

-shaila,

The most commonly used 'illegal' drug is marijuana. However, that's only if you don't count alcohol--which is illegal for middle school and high school students because they are underaged.

-Aria Crump

What drug is the worst one for you and has the highest mortality rate?

-Tractor Trailer,

Great question - I suspect you are a potential scientist! We have found all drugs can cause medical, psychological and social problems. As a doctor, I've seen people with terrible trouble quitting their use of marijuana, even though it was causing them a lot of trouble. I have also worked with patients who abused heroin and cocaine who quit using the first time they tried. On average, tobacco smoking (cigarettes) cause the most deaths around the world. For additional information, check out: http://www.drugabuse.gov/consequences/

-Wilson Compton

What happens when you overdose on heroin ?

-XoLEXiSXo,

It causes you to stop breathing.Death can occur within minutes after you stop breathing. It is important to call 911 and get emergency medical help as quickly as possible.

-Frank Vocci

what happens when you overdose?

-cs,

it depends on what drug you overdose on. if you overdose on heroin or alcohol your respiratory centers in your brain stop working and that is why people die. if you overdose on cocaine or amphetamine you can develop a severe seizure that can kill the person.

-Nora Volkow

What happens when you take an overdose of ADHD meddication?

-Kristin,

it can make you paranoid, it can produce seizures, it can also produce heart arrhythmias

-Nora Volkow

What helps to cure your drug habbits?

-Dederocs!,

Drug treatment is the best way. getting involved in non drug related activities will help a person cut down their drug use. 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 is in Rohypnol that will make you lose your memory?

-tinkerbell,

rohypnol is a benzodiazepine used for anxiety and insomnia that can interfere with your memory as do other drugs in that class. this is because the proteins affected by them interfere with activity in hippocampus which is were memories are formed in the brain

-Nora Volkow

What in drugs gets your adrenaline pumping?

-luvballen32,

Many drugs known as "psychostimulants" such as cocaine and methamphetamine can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, which are related to the effects of adrenaline. You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/

-David Shurtleff

What in methamphetamine makes it so addictive and dangerous?

-Coolio The Great IIV,

Methamphetamine is so addictive because it sticks around in the body for such a long time, so it has a much stronger effect than other stimulants. To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Steve Grant

what is a drug

-anniexlovesxuux,

That's a great question. A drug is a substance that you put into your body to have a certain effect. For example, some drugs are medicines and you would take them to improve your health. Other kinds of drugs are taken because the person thinks they will change their behavior or make them feel better. Some of these are legal, like alcohol and tobacco, and others, like cocaine and marijuana, are not. The drugs in the last two categories can have seriously bad effects on people who use them. You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/

-Nancy Pilotte

What is a good way to tell someone that they have a drug-related problem?

-Julia,

One of the best ways to tell is if the person seems obsessed with the drug, using more often than they intended and spending more time recovering from the drug use than planned. Also, continuing to use the drug even in the face of medical or mental problems or despite damaging consequences, such as loss of job, home, and support of friends and family.To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Frank Vocci

What is Acid?

-AR90210,

Acid is LSD.It can result in unpredictable effects such as delusions and visual hallucinations. It can also increase body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. LSD is also known to cause sleeplessness and loss of appetite. LSD can result in psychotic-like episodes that can occur long after a person has taken the drug, such as dramatic mood swings from mania to profound depression, and hallucinations.You can find out more at:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/ACIDLSD.html

-David Shurtleff