Note: There is no transcript for CHAT DAY 2018, which was cancelled due to the Government Shutdown initiated on January 20, 2018.

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 dogs get drunk?

-i am mike, New Jersey

Yes they sure can! Any mammal can.

-Aaron White

Can doing drugs while your an adolecent affect your childrens health someday?


Doing drugs today can impact your future, which can have a direct impact on your child's future. Your child's well being is connected to yours--so you have to make sure that you don't interfere with your health or education by getting involved with drugs. If you become addicted before you get pregnant you risk exposing your child to substances which may have effects on your child's health and well being (beyond what the drugs are doing to you personally). These things may seem a long way off, but the truth is the choices you make now can have an impact for a very long time.

-Aria Crump

Can drinking affect pregencies

-dan24, Wyoming

Drinking while you are pregnant can seriously affect a baby's development. A range of problems, the worst of which is called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) can result. Babies born with FAS are not addicted to alcohol themselves, but they do have smaller brains, abnormal facial features, and often have life-long learning and behavioral problems. It is the leading preventable birth defect associated with mental and behavioral impairment in the United States today.

-Aaron White

can drinking run in the family?

-janedoe!!, Utah

There is a genetic component to alcohol addiction. That means that if either of your parents is an alcoholic, your chances of becoming alcohol dependent are higher than someone whose parents are not alcoholics. This is true even if you are raised in a home without the alcoholic parent.

-Aaron White

Can drug use be hereditary? If parents are addicted could exposed children become addicted just by contact?

-captain, Kentucky

VERY interesting question! Genes which are inherited determine your eye color and height and can determine whether you become addicted to drugs of abuse or not. However, this is only part of the equation. Having an addicted parent could raise a person's risk for addiction because the risk for drug addiction can be inherited. About 40-60% of the risk for drug addiction comes from the genes a person inherited from their parents. There are other factors such as taking drugs themselves and a person's age that can contribute to their risk for addiction. Want more information on addiction? Check out NIDA's website:

-David Shurtleff

can drugs affect baby size

-Davidp, Maryland

Yes! Studies on drugs such as cocaine have found that growth can be affected. Even smoking can affect fetal growth and is associated with lower birth weights. Some researchers are looking at whether lower birth weights are then associated with later obesity!

-Nicolette Borek

Can drugs affect the way you socialize?

-16312723, Maryland

Yes and no. Yes, if someone is doing drugs, it is likely that their relationships with loved ones are suffering. It is also true that their personalities could be altered from drug use and change their social skills or comfort level. No, if someone thinks that they need to do drugs to party or fit in. IMO, people are the life of the party when they show there true spirit...See more info here:

-Bethany Deeds

Can drugs affect you in any sport?

-Special K,

great question.Of course, any drug that affects your cognitive function or motor coordination, for example, can impair your performance in sports.better play clean, don't you think?

-Ruben Baler

bill nye the science guy said that drugs ccan help you. is this true because thats why i started doing acid

-midgettp, New Jersey

Great question! There are lots of drugs--called medications--that can have very good effects on you. Remember, all drugs are not abused drugs--drugs are anything you take into your body for its effects, whether it is for control of pain, control of weight, control of diabetes, or antibiotics. Even drugs that have the potential for abuse have medical uses. Heroin is an abused opiate; but morphine, another opiate, is a medical treatment for pain. Cocaine not only can make you high, it is also a very effective local anesthetic still used today in eye surgery. Whether a drug is good for you or not often depends on dose and what you are using it for!And I don't think you should blame Bill Nye for your actions with LSD. You need to own that activity yourself, and know that treatment works. To get leads on help, go to anytime; they are open 24/7.

-Nancy Pilotte

both are bad but which is worse, smoking weed or making weed brownies?

-957532, Maryland

smoking weed is worse than making weed brownies(unless you eat the brownies too)

-Ruben Baler

By smoking crack cocaine could it affect your brain(life long term) after one time

-fellowhomie, Virginia

Unlikely, but each 'high' that someone experiences when using crack or any other drug affects the brain and increases the potential for addiction. Use of addictive drugs when you are young (about your age) increases the likelihood of permanent changes in the brain. It is also possible to overdose the first time that someone uses crack, as you can't be positive what dose you are getting or you may be an individual who is particularly sensitive to the drug, so it's best not to use crack even once.

-Joe Frascella

California recently voted against legalizing marijuana, how do you feel about the legalization of this drug?

-cvteacher, Pennsylvania

Regardless of personal feelings about the legalization of marijuana, the important thing to remember is that marijuana is a serious drug that can have harmful effects on the brain and body. Teens are at a critical period in the development of the brain. All addictive drugs - including marijuana impact the development of the teen brain and can create problems in function including memory, concentration, decision making, and even the development of addiction. Making marijuana legal might increase its availability and make it more accessible for teens. We have seen this with other drugs - including prescription drugs. The rates of teen abuse and addiction to prescription pain killers and other drugs has risen as the number of presriptions have risen. Whether you are for or against 'legalization' of marijuana increased avilability and use by teens would not be good for their health, development, or brains.

-Redonna Chandler

Can 1 use of any drug make you addicted

-16372550, Maryland

The process of addiction starts as soon as a drug enters your body and brain. But the time it takes to develop a noticeable addiction can vary a lot among people. It really depends on the person, the drug, how and how much you take it, and your genes. The problem is you don't know how prone you are to get addicted or whether you have become addicted until you start and try to stop--and by then, you may have a real problem. So if you have only used something once best not to use anymore. Check out this neat booklet for more:

-Steve Grant

Can a child get harmed by taking an adults prescription medicine?


Absolutely. In fact, even drugs that don't seem fatal or dangerous can harm children (for example, a common cause of unintentional overdose in children is from multi-vitamin's-because of the iron). But for prescription pain killers, children can have serious health issues and even death from accidental ingestion. It's dangerous for anyone to take a prescription medication that isn't prescribed for them-but for children that risk is even greater.

-Carol Krause

Can a person be addicted to fast food? how about video games?

-My Username, Maryland

Looks like it. Addiction is compulsive use despite negative consquences. That fits the bill for compusive eating and gaming. In fact there are clinics for internet addictions. There are some real horror stories of people playing games almost every waking moment, and they stay up most of the time. I mean, I like games but every waking moment....sounds like addiction to me.

-David Thomas

Can a person be arrested, and jailed for taking illegal drugs , or will they just be sent to rehab?

-20142025@PJPHS, Pennsylvania

Hello PA...heard of Lindsey Lohan, right? She's going back to jail for violating the terms of her probation (one of the terms being staying clean). The possession and use of some drugs is illegal. However, if someone wants to stop using drugs there are places to go and get professional help. Treatment programs addressing addiction are confidential places to go and get help to stop using drugs. More information about treatment can be found at:

-Redonna Chandler

Can a person get sick from second hand smoking?

-20142025@PJPHS, Pennsylvania

Yes -- not only can you get sick, and suffer from athasma and other respiratory problems, but second hand smoke can kill you. Of the 444,000 smoking-related deaths each year, 50,000 of these people never smoked a cigarette (i.e., they are the result of exposure to second hand smoke). More informaiton about smoking can be found at:

-Redonna Chandler

can a reptile get drunk


Yes! Although it might need some help drinking it!

-Aaron White

can alcohol affect babies

-johnm, Pennsylvania

Alcohol can affect babies whose mothers drink while they are still pregnant with them. When pregnant mothers drink, their babies can be born with a variety of different problems, the worst of which is called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Babies born with FAS have smaller brains, abnormal facial features, and often have life-long learning and behavioral problems. It is the leading preventable birth defect associated with mental and behavioral impairment in the United States today. Babies should never be given alcohol to drink because it can make them very sick. Babies are so small - even a little bit of alcohol can cause problems, and even death.

-Aaron White

Can alcohol affect your ability to have children in the future?

-123, Kentucky

It's not clear whether drinking causes long-term effects on the likelihood of having children in the future. However, drinking while trying to conceive a child can definitely interfere with fertility. In females, drinking can disrupt the menstrual cycle and decrease the odds of conception. For males, alcohol also alters hormone levels and might affect sperm development, interfering with fertility that way. And, of course, it is very dangerous to the baby to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

-Aaron White

can drugs affect your life

-16994369, Maryland

Drugs can affect your life in so many ways -- most of them not good. While you may get an initial feeling of euphoria (or high), most drugs have serious and dangerous effects. Some of them can change your life forever. Take a look at some of the specific drug information on our teen site to get an idea of specific harmful effects of various drugs. Go to

-Jane Lipkin

Can drugs affect your social life ?

-15961589, Maryland

I'm going to anwser this question two ways:(1) You can party with your friends like a rock star and never do drugs! People who are cool appreciate you for who you are and what you are about....or (2) doing drugs can affect your relationships with family and friends in negative ways. You can read more about these effects here:, a Website for teens with information on the science behind drug abuse, facts on drugs, questions and answers, real stories and interactive activities. In addition, the Office of National Drug Control Policy provides additional information specifically for young people. Go to:, to find an interactive drug prevention site for youth. Symptoms of ADHD (link to new fact sheet) and

-Bethany Deeds

can drugs affect your sperm count ?

-HELLO, Maryland

They sure can. Marijuana is one that is known to lower it.

-Nancy Pilotte

Can drugs be processed into food and drinks without anyone knowing?

-2 cool 4 school,

Yes--the addition of rohypnol (roofies) to drinks is a perfect example.

-Nancy Pilotte

Can drugs cause an allergic reaction?


That's an interesting question that requires a little discussion of biology and an undertanding of what a drug is. First, many drugs, whether they are prescription drugs or vitamins, are manufactured in pill form with other, inactive ingredients to make them hold together. Allergic reactions to these are usually to the inactive ingredients or some other contaminant. In order to provoke an allergic reaction, the provoking substance must be relatively large or a protein. Most drugs of abuse are very small molecules, not large enough to excite an immune response. So it is very unlikely that you would get an allergic reaction from the drug itself. But often these drugs are manufactured under dirty conditions (someone's garage) or are cut with an inactive substance of the same color/texture (like lactate) and the contaminants (which you can't identify) may lead to an undesired reaction.

-Nancy Pilotte

can drugs get animals hii

-man cody, Wyoming

Probably. They can't say to us, 'Dude, I am really messed up' but there are a lot of similarities between animals and people in how they act when on drugs of abuse. You should see the spiderwebs made by spiders on drugs. Very messed up... For more information see

-David Thomas

can drugs help you with everyday stress? and can they help you perform in sports?

-bigseltz, New Jersey

Hi there,If you have a level of stress that affects your daily life then you may want to talk to your doctor, maybe he can prescribe a medication (or behavioral intervention) to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with your condition. Regarding sports, there are many (ergogenic) substances that are either known or reported to enhance your athletic performance. Anabolic steroids, erythropoietin, Growth hormone, come to mind, but they are all banned substances with adverse effects.Thanks for the good question and take care

-Ruben Baler

Can drugs lead to diseases or death?

-warda, New York

absolutely. Go to to learn more...

-David Thomas

can drugs make u die faster


The short answer is yes, they can make you die sooner than you would ordinarily. Overdose is the obvious reason, but drug use can lead to injury or death through accidents, crashes, falls, violence, and infections or diseases one might have acquired while intoxicated. When you are drunk or high on drugs, you often can't make good decisions. Just ask Kim, who took drugs, hooked up with a boy she hardly knew, and got HIV. Read her story at

-Marsha Lopez

can drugs make u ugly

-nidachat, New Hampshire

oh yeah!!! One example that immediately comes to mind is methamphetamine. There are pictures online of people before and after meth abuse. It is unreal!!! Their teeth get rotten, and the skin gets all blotchy! UGLY! For more info on drugs, see

-David Thomas