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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can the drug K2 kill you?

-lohan362, Pennsylvania

Thanks for your question.K2, Spice is a fairly new phenomenon. There is no solid indication that this herbal mixture is lethal. But since this mixtures are not regulated nor standardized different batches from different manufacturers could end up containing dangerous contaminants. Stay healthy and take care.

-Ruben Baler

Can toothpaste be a drug?

-craigb, New York

Probably not. Not counting alcohol, something needs to have molecules in it that fit special molecules on brain cells to give a mood effect to be a real drug. So brush every day and be sure to floss!

-Jim Bjork

Can types of weed make you have hallucinations or see things that aren't there?

-i<3bubbles, Kentucky

Yes, there are some weeds that are very hallucinogenic. For example, gypsum weed (common names -- jimson weed, devil's trumpet, devil's weed, thorn apple, tolguacha, Jamestown weed, stinkweed, locoweed, datura, pricklyburr, devil's cucumber, hell's bells, moonflower) can cause very severe hallucinations. That said, one has to be very careful with such hallucinogens as they can be extremely potent, like with gypsum weed. People have gone into comas, convulsions, and have died from very small amounts.Hope this helps.

-Joe Frascella

can u eat weed?

-Xavier, Maryland

Yes, people do eat weed (marijuana) and get high from it. For more information about marijuana and the dangers of addiction, see https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana.

-Joe Frascella

can u get high off of dry erse markers

-sttbrown29, Pennsylvania

Yup. These markers have volatile organic solvents in them. We call solvents like acetone, toluene and ethyl acetate 'inhalants' and they are sequestered by (and dissolve) lipids. The organs in your body with the most lipid are your brain and your liver. 'Huffing' these solvents can also kill you.

-Nancy Pilotte

can u get high off smoking parsley?

-CS, New Jersey

No, but it is delicious when you add it to a meal. And you might like the taste.

-Nancy Pilotte

can u over dose with drinking

-ctodd, Pennsylvania

The major signs that someone is overdosing on alcohol, or has alcohol poisoning include:VomitingSeizuresSlow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute)Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness If someone you know shows these symptoms after drinking, call a parent, call 911, just get help -and fast! Don't try to play doctor yourself - get help.For more information on alcohol poisoning, please check out: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/

-Aaron White

can u over dose with weed?

-BarneY, Maryland

Probably not. But are you tryinig to?

-Ruben Baler

can underaged teenagers get arrested for smoking ciggerettes?

-Hackettstown, New Jersey

Well I don't think you can get arrested for smoking them, but your parents might ground you. Smoking is really bad for your body and brain. Consequences of tobacco use include: lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders among others. More information can be found at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Nicotine.html.

-Redonna Chandler

can using k2 kill you ?

-ozmann12, Maryland

Thanks for your question.K2, Spice is a fairly new phenomenon. There is no solid indication that this herbal mixture is lethal. But since this mixtures are not regulated nor standardized different batches from different manufacturers could end up containing dangerous contaminants. Stay healthy and take care.

-Ruben Baler

Can weed be eaten?

-marijuanna, New Jersey

Yes, some people put marijuana in baked goods. The problem with eating marijuana is that it takes a very long time for the drug to take effect--about an hour or more. So it is very easy to take more than you intend (or not even know that you have eaten somethinig containing mariujana) because you may not feel anything right after eating something containing it. So be careful out there ! The only medically approved use for THC, the most psychoactive chemical in marijuana, is Marinol, a capsule containing TCH dissolved in sesame seed oil. 

-Steve Grant

Can weed cause death?

-NickP, Maryland

Hi! Interesting question...hard to answer exactly because
marijuanais generally not toxic in the sense that if you smoke it, it is going to kill you. But, if you were to get high and then drive, have unprotected sex, or do something else that could be dangerous, the consequences could be serious...even deadly. Approximately 14% of fatally injured drivers test positive for marijuana (sometimes in combination with other drugs)

-Joe Frascella

Can weed cause death?

-NickP, Maryland

Hi! Interesting question...hard to answer exactly because marijuana is generally not toxic in the sense that if you smoke it, it is going to kill you. But, if you were to get high and then drive, have unprotected sex, or do something else that could be dangerous, the consequences could be serious...even deadly. Approximately 14% of fatally injured drivers test positive for marijuana (sometimes in combination with other drugs)

-Joe Frascella

Can weed cause death? (with regular eat habits)

-PoloBoy, Maryland

The worst thing that can happen to you is getting hurt or killed, not directly from the drug, like the way that alcohol or opioids can stop your breathing, but by getting into a car wreck or having some other consequence of altered judgment and perception from being high. The biggest danger has to do with marijuana's effects on judgment, perception, reaction time....Studies have found that 4 to 14 percent of drivers who were injured or died in traffic crashes tested positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. Learn more on the Sara Bellum blog at https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/know-the-scene-4-tips-to-avoid-drinking-drugs-and-driving/.

-Steve Grant

Can Weed Kill You On Your First Try?

-CoCo&Chanel2012, Maryland

quick answer: no. and probably not on your second either.

-Ruben Baler

can mary be addictive when used in a BONG?

-wakeNbake, Maryland

MJ can be addictive no matter whether you smoke it in cigarette form, use a bong, or put it in brownies. About 9% of people who use MJ become addicted. Take a look at our fact sheet at http://drugabuse.gov/Infofacts/marijuana.html

-Jane Lipkin

can mary effect your sperm count

-ross, Georgia

There have been some studies to show that marijuana can effect fertility. Studies have shown that marijuana can lower sperm count as well as the motility of sperm. Another study has shown that a woman smoking marijuana can make the sperm of her partner less fertile. Hope this helps.

-Joe Frascella

can maryguana make canser on you

-15379633, Maryland

Numerous studies have shown marijuana smoke to contain carcinogens and to be an irritant to the lungs. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which further increase the lungs' exposure to carcinogenic smoke. Marijuana smokers show poorly regulated growth of epithelial cells in their lung tissue, which could lead to cancer; however, a recent study found no positive associations between marijuana use and lung, upper respiratory, or upper digestive tract cancers. Thus, the link between marijuana smoking and these cancers remains unproven at this time. We do know marijuana smoking can cause other problems in your lungs, especially if you smoke it regularly.You can find a lot of information on marijuana at http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html

-Nicolette Borek

Can monkeys get drunk like humans?

-Special K,

Special K- I don't know if monkeys get drunk like humans, but I'm guessing that physiologically, then can. In terms of other aspects of getting drunk, scientists have found that it isn't just the alcohol that can affect a person's behavior-- the social environment can have a big effect. If 'Monkey see -Monkey do' has any validity, this could be true for monkeys too. :-)

-Lisa Onken

Can Naloxone counteract opiates?

-abed_nadir, Pennsylvania

Great question, Abed! Naloxone and a simliar compound naltrexone both block the effects of opiates and opioids (like heroin, morphine, OxyContin). They are called antagonists because they block the receptors (called opioid receptors) in the brain where these drugs would typically act. In fact, both Naloxone and naltrexone can be used as parts of opioid medications to prevent inappropriate use and consumption. You can find more about opiates like heroin here:http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Heroin.html

-David White

Can one time moderate use of cocaine lead to permanent brain damage memory problems and cognitive impairment?

-keith, Maryland

Hi Keith, thanks for the question. The simple answer is that one-time moderate use of cocaine most likely will not lead to permanent brain damage and cognitive problems. But quite honestly, there is not yet any way to predict how a drug, no matter the dose or frequency of use, will do to the brain. Wonder why celebrities go in and out of rehab so much? Because it takes time to recover from addiction - and time to find the right treatment. Learn more by reading NIDA's new booklet for teens, Drugs: Shatter the Myths, at http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/booklet.php.

-Joe Frascella

Can pain killers affect you just as much as marijuna?

-Special K,

thanks for the question.Absolutely, if not more. You can actually die from overdosing on pain killers. Opiod analgesics are very addictive powerful drugs that should only be used under close medical supervision and for very specific medical conditions.Take care and stay healthy.

-Ruben Baler

can pain killers hurt your body

-google, Maryland

Yes, even though pain killers can be helpful when when you have an injury, narcotic opioid drugs have a lot of bad effects, including potential addiction. These drugs suppress the immune system and slow your breathing. When people take too much of these drugs they can stop breathing and die. It's a growing problem in this country: treatment admissions for opiates other than heroin rose from 19,870 in 1998 to 111,251 in 2008, over a 450-percent increase. Also, the number of fatal poisonings involving prescription pain medications more than tripled from 1999 through 2006, outnumbering total deaths involving heroin and cocaine.

-Steve Grant

can pcp cause medical death

-TaiBenz187, Maryland

Yes, it can cause cardiac complications, especially if used at the same time as other drugs. Check out our fact sheet on hallucinogens at http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/hallucinogens.html

-Jim Bjork

can people die if they smoke weed

-BC, New Jersey

Yes, people can die because marijuana can affect their judgement and perception, so they are more likely to get into a car accident, get hit by a car, fall down stairs, or even walk off a cliff. However, one would be probably pass out before you could smoke enough marijuana to stop your heart or breathing. The biggest danger has to do with the effects on judgment, perception, reaction time....Studies have found that 4 to 14 percent of drivers who were injured or died in traffic crashes tested positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. Learn more on the Sara Bellum blog at https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/know-the-scene-4-tips-to-avoid-drinking-drugs-and-driving/.

-Steve Grant

can prescription drugs be addictive too?

-blackrulezmore, Kentucky

Absolutely! Opiates are the same whether you obtain them as heroin or as Vicodin or Oxycontin. When they are prescribed, they are given in known amounts for a certain length of time (until they are no longer needed). Many people think that if a doctor prescribes something for pain that they cannot become addicted, but that is not true. The chemicals in pain killers do not know if they are prescribed or not and they behave the same way regardless of how you get them. Did you know that in 2006, prescription pain medications, like Vicodin, were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine COMBINED? For more facts about drugs, read NIDA's new booklet made for teens, Drugs: Shatter the Myths. You can find it (and even order it for free) at http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/booklet.php.

-Nancy Pilotte

Can robots develop a drug addiction? This is a serious question

-arthur r, New Jersey

Serious answer. At this point in time, robots are electro-mechanical devices, so there is no way to administer a drug to a robot. However, robots can be programmed to seek items in their environment such as a power source. It is theoretically possible to program a robot to repeatedly seek out some item in the evironment because it has a large value to it that also has long-term bad effects on its performance. That would kind of be like addiction. You may want to look at the research of Steve Potter at Georgia Tech Univ (http://gatech.academia.edu/StevePotter), who is using neurons grown in a dish to act as the 'brain' for robots. Drugs can be given to that 'brain in a dish', so it would be very interesting to see how that would affect the performance of a robot. Maybe you will be the person to does the research to answer that question ! Seriously.

-Steve Grant

can sex become a drug? does it have any negative physical effects in excess?

-starprepacademy, California

I think what you are really asking is whether people can become addicted to sex....clinically there are many people who develop compulsive sexual behaviors that can put them at risk for a number of problems including increased exposure to sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

-Cindy Miner

Can Sharpie Markers actually give you a high sensation, and if so why do so many stores sell sharpies?

-20114650@pjphs, Pennsylvania

Yes, they can. They are part of a class of chemicals called inhalants. This class of drugs is huge, and includes lots of cleaners, glues, gas... It is really not practicle to get rid of all of them. Probably best to work being careful when using any of the inhalants.... For more info, see https://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/facts_inhale1.php

-David Thomas

Can sharpies get you high?

-hackettstown, New Jersey

If you sniff them too much, yes. Eating them can be a choking hazard! hehe... Like other inhalants, the solvents in sharpies can rob your brain of oxygen and make one woozy if you sniff them too much. Over the long run, one's brain can shrink from excessive sniffing. There is a whole lot of scientific info on this topic and why it is a seriously bad idea at: http://www.inhalants.drugabuse.gov/.

-David Thomas