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 here.

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can you overdose on marijuana?

-hello123, New Jersey

Not in the sense of dying, but some people get panic attacks and other psychiatric r eactions like paranoia.when they smoke too much.

-Frank Vocci

can you overdose on marijuana?

-hello123,

Not in the sense of dying, but some people get panic attacks and other psychiatric r eactions like paranoia.when they smoke too much

-Frank Vocci

Hello there. Whats worse for you, alcohol or marijuana?

-lemon_parties,

Good question! Although alcohol is legal (but only if you are 21 or older) and marijuana is not, BOTH can cause addiction and BOTH can impair your judgment. This can put you at risk of engaging in dangerous behaviors like getting behind the wheel of a car when you are intoxicated. An analogy would be like asking yourself--would you rather have an obscure but curable disease or come from a poverty stricken country? For more information on the health consequences of alcohol and marijuana check out http://www.thecoolspot.gov/too_much.asp AND http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuanaThanks for joining us!

-Marsha Lopez

Hello, is it possible to be addicted to marijuana?

-mad_steeze,

Yes! About 1 in 10 people who use marijuana become addicted. When they stop, they experience a "withdrawal syndrome"--they are irritable, can't sleep, lose weight, and are anxious, often prompting them to start using again. Whats more--long term marijuanna users themselves report not only poorer educational and job outcomes, but less life satisfaction and worse mental and physical health compared to those who don't use marijuana. Check out http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana for more info. Thanks for joining in on Chat day!

-Marsha Lopez

Dr, Frank Vocci I have a qustion for you if say my friend asks me to hide their weed in my room what do i say?

-livelaughlove94,

I would not do it. Tell them that you don't feel right about their use of weed and if you hid their weed, you 'd be agreeing that it's OK. Plus, it's against the law.

-Frank Vocci

drug facts i have a question for you how many brain cells for drugs kill?

-alan123,

Drugs can affect the structure and functioning of the brain and some drugs can kill brain cells and as well as altering the way other brain cells function. The more one uses drugs, the more likely one is to become addicted. Drug addiction can cause many changes to both the brain and body that have negative consequences.Thanks for this question.

-Joe Frascella

DRugs are really good for you why do people lie about it, saying its bad?

-taco and jazmin,

Drugs can make you feel good but they can also harm your body and affect the way your brain functions. This can result in imapired memory, decreased attention, and depression. Also in vulnerable people it can produce addiction. That is why people say that drugs can be bad.

-Nora Volkow

Euphoria is a effect of inhalants. What is euphoria?

-Lecile,

Many drugs of abuse can cause euphoria, which results from the sudden release of a chemical in the brain called DOPAMINE. Small doses of inhalants can rapidly lead to euphoria and other disturbances of behavior similar to those caused by ethanol (alcohol), and may also induce delusions and hallucinations. Higher doses may produce life-threatening effects such as convulsions and coma. Death may ensue indirectly after, for example, inhalation of vomit, or from direct cardiac or central nervous system toxicity. For more information on inhalant abuse please go to http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/inhalants

-Ruben Baler

From what body parts can drugs be taken in?

-CrystalAlyssa,

Drugs can be ingested orally, through the nose, smoked, or injected into the skin, muscle, or a vein. To learn more, look at our illustrated and easy-to-read booklet at http://drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/.

-Frank Vocci

Does smoking affect your sex life?

-juicyjuice34,

Tobacco can affect your sex life in several ways. Here's one: who wants to kiss someone who smells and tastes bad? And in the long run, tobacco can hurt the circulatory system and make it harder to have sex. See www.smoking.drugabuse.gov for more info on smoking. Information about smoking and prevention can be found at www.smokefree.gov.

-Wilson Compton

Does smoking weed when you are young effect you in the long run?

-igloosRcool,

Thanks for your question - In general marijuana can affect your short-term memory and learning, your ability to focus attention, and coordination. It also increases heart rate, can harm the lungs, and can cause psychosis in those at risk. We've got a bunch of studies looking at how weed/marijuana use can affect your brain as it is developing. Did you know your brain develops until age 25?! It's important to keep your brain healthy at all times, especially when it is still developing and can be really vulnerable to drugs. To find out more about marijuana, go to our teen website: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana

-Nicolette Borek

does drug intake have any affect on your acne and skin?

-sammmiiieeeeee4,

Steroids definitely can cause acne. As for other drugs, if you become addicted-drugs become the most important thing in your life and that said, your skin probably doesn't get the attention it needs.

-Elisabeth Davis

does drugs affect your studying habbats?

-alan123,

Absolutely. Drugs make it hard to focus, make it hard to motivate, make it hard to do all the things you need to do to study. AND if that wasn't bad enough, you do enough drugs and they become what your life is all about-so if you do drugs then forget about studying or doing well in school, because once your addicted doing well in school might just be the least of your concerns. So, if you take drugs that people say help you to study...they don't help and if you end up becoming addicted, then they certainly hurt.

-Elisabeth Davis

does drugs effect the size of growth to ur body?????

-????,

The basic answer is yes. Some stimulants have been shown to stunt overall growth. And, of course, steroids can increase some body growth, they can also have other serious medical complications including shrinking testicles. 

-Jan Lipkin

Does drugs make you lose weight?

-Tifffaaanybaby,

Hi Denbigh High! Yep, some drugs are or contain stimulants, which when taken can lead to weight loss and appetite suppression. However stimulants can be addictive. Consult www.teens.drugabuse.gov for more information on stimulants!

-David Shurtleff

does effect your child?? can your partner be effected by drugs if you use them but they dont??

-ambuhhhxo3,

Hi and thanks for your question. Yes, drug use affects the whole family. Moms' drug use can affect their babies in utero (during pregnancy). And secondhand smoke (from cigarettes, marijuana, and methamphetamine) can affect kids and partners who live with or spend time with the drug user. In addition to the physical effects of exposure to drugs, drug use can damage a person's relationships with their children and partner. Basically, using drugs hurts everyone around you! If you have a loved one who uses drugs, you can get help for them at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov or 1-800-662-HELP.

-Nicolette Borek

Does every drug get addicting after a certain period of time?

-mvpballa7919,

This is a good question. There is a lot we still dont know about who becomes addicted and why, and after how much drug exposure. We do know that each person is different, So its 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.You might want to read the online publication, Science of Addiction, at www.drugabuse.gov.

-Wilson Compton

Does it mean your addicted if you do it for comfort?

-somethingsimple,

No, when you are addicted you take the drug because your body experiences it as a NEED--just as your body experiences the NEED for food when you have not eaten. But, you should recognize that the shift from "comfort use" to addiction is not a predictable one--so you could wind up addicted even before you realize the full extent of your problem.

-Nora Volkow

Good Morning, My question to you is how can drugs affect your body as well as your mind and the people around you?

-yhskayla,

When you take drugs they not only go to your brain but to your body. Some drugs effect organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys and hence can result in medical problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Drugs affect the people around you since they affect your brain including areas that are important for social behaviors. And addiction can be devastating to families trying to help the affected person.

-Nora Volkow

has anybody gotten any life changing disease from drugs

-juicyjuice34,

Thanks for your question. There are many diseases that are associated with drug abuse. For example, many people are aware that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted via sharing drug injection equipment but HIV/AIDS and drug abuse are linked by more than just needles. The judgment of those under the influence of drugs can be impaired and therefore they may make risky decisions about sex. They could contract any number of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS or syphilis.

-Anna Staton

Hav you ever tried any of the drugs you study?

-s.dakota.mitche,

I have tried nicotine and alcohol

-Nora Volkow

Have you done drugs

-juicyjuice34,

I tried a pot bong once when I was 16. I thought it tasted bad, and made me feel nauseus. That ended that.

-James Bjork

have you ever smoked weed

-juicyjuice34,

I grew up in the 1960s. Weed was plentiful but not as strong as today's stuff. I smoked it a few times. See http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana for more on marijuana.

-Frank Vocci

hayhayhay. which drug does the most damage to the brain the quickest?

-mslice,

Great question - you sound like a junior neuroscientist! This question is a bit hard to answer specifically in that we know that all drugs affect the brain. Some drugs like meth and heroin can be highly addicting and lead to more and more abuse and addiction. All drugs can lead to addiction. We know that people have different vulnerabilities to drugs, and it really depends on your individual vulnerability to a drug and a drug's damaging effects. For more information on the effects of drugs on the brain - check out one of our newest publications: http://drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/.

-Joe Frascella

Does the brain and human emotions suffer irreversible effects from drug use? Abuse only? What's the research say?

-mdaugherty,

Great questions! All drugs of abuse have their effects in the brain, and these effects can certainly effect ones emotions and emotional states. Research is showing how chronic drug use does change the brain structure and ability to function properly. We are starting to see results from research that these changes in the brain can be reversible, depending on a number of factors. For more information and some current research findings, please visit our web site at: http://teens.drugabuse.gov

-Joe Frascella

Does the use of drugs increase the chance of hair loss?

-reddie22,

Some drugs like steroids can result in hair loss.

-Nora Volkow

does weed affect a baby if you are pregnant?

-Chelsea_luvs_u,

Thanks for asking this question! Yes, weed/marijuana can affect the baby if the mother uses it while she's pregnant. We've got a couple of scientific studies on this - including one that followed kids from the prenatal/pregnancy stage until they were adults. And these studies found that prenatal exposure to marijuana caused subtle developmental effects on things like paying attention and thinking. Tobacco use can also affect the baby if the mother uses it while she's pregnant. We recommend pregnant women not use alcohol or drugs, including marijuana and tobacco, and ask their doctor for some help if they are having trouble stopping. You can find more answers to important questions like this anytime on our Teen Web site, http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

-Nicolette Borek

does weed fry your barin cells?

-Chelsea_luvs_u,

Thanks for your question. Our stuidies have found that weed can contribute to memory problems, altered perceptions, decreased reaction time, lack of motivation, sleep problems, and more. You also might be interested in knowing that studies have shown that chronic use can result in the an overall lack of career success as well as an addiction to marijuana. For more specific information, please visit: www.marijuana-info.org

-Joe Frascella

does weed kill alot of brain cells?

-Fatman12,

Thanks for your question! Our research has found that marijuana (weed) can contribute to memory problems, decreased reaction time, altered perceptions, lack of motivation, sleep problems, and more. You also might be interested in knowing that studies have shown that chronic use can result in the an overall lack of career success as well as an addiction to marijuana. For more specific information, please visit: www.marijuana-info.org

-Joe Frascella

Does your brain really wither away if use of drugs is constantly?

-TALK TOME PLEes,

No, the brain doesn't typically wither away with chronic drug use, but, in fact, some drugs do affect the structure and functioning of the brain. That is, some drugs can kill brain cells and as well as altering the way other brain cells function. The more one uses drugs, the more likely one is to become addicted. Drug addiction can cause many changes to both the brain and body that have negative consequences.Thanks for this question.

-Joe Frascella