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.

Download Full Year

can you get so high that you cant remember what you did?

-athompson, Michigan

Yes, you can get so drunk or high that you can lose consciousness or your memory can get totally messed up. For more information about drugs, check out http://www.abovetheinfluence.com/.

-Joe Frascella

can you go brain dead because of drugs?

-Karlaa <3, Maryland

All drugs of abuse affect your brain. One can have major problems in brain function because of drugs...like loss of consciousness, memory loss, anxiety, tremors, depression, anger, lack of sleep, etc. For more information about the effects of drugs, check out http://www.abovetheinfluence.com/ and http://teens.drugabuse.gov/.Also you can send us questions about drugs anytime of the day on our Teen Web site: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/. It might take a few days, because our scientists are pretty busy - but if you're patient, your questions will get answered.Hope that helps!

-Joe Frascella

can you go insane from taking drugs??

-drugsR4squares, Massachusetts

Psychosis (schizophrenia and other dementias) can occur in some people who repeatedly use certain drugs of abuse such as PCP, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Did you know you can send us questions about drugs anytime of the day on our Teen Web site? http://teens.drugabuse.gov/. It might take a few days, because our scientists are pretty busy - but real questions will get real answers!

-David Shurtleff

cAN yOU hAVE fLASHBACKS fROM sMOKING wEED?

-vvhs, Arizona

There are a lot of things that happen because of using marijuana and many of them are related to short-term memory loss or making poor decisions. However, marijuana has not been reported to cause flashbacks. You can find out more about marijuana at https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana.

-Nancy Pilotte

Can you high off of yur basic garage chemicals?

-Brad, Michigan

Yes- inhalants such as gasoline and paint thinner can give a 'high' resembling alcohol intoxication. The problem is that some of these chemical are toxic--they can produce a loss of sensation, and even unconsciousness if taken in high concentrations! With repeated use they can cause hearing loss, limb spasms, brain, or bone marrow damage. Sniffing high concentrations of inhalants may result in death from heart failure or suffocation (inhalants displace oxygen in the lungs)--not good!For more information about inhalants, check out http://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/facts_inhale1.php.

-David Shurtleff

can you lose weight from drugs?

-coaxie, Utah

Drugs like cocaine, methampethamine, and to a lesser extent nicotine can lead to weight loss since they suppress hunger. Other drugs like marijuana can increase your weight since they can give you the munchies. However use of drugs is not a good way to keep weight off since you become tolerant to these effects and when you stop most people go back to their prior weight (or even higher).

-Nora Volkow

can you not get addicted to marijuana and meth if u only do it one timeand what are the side affects on a persion that is only 5' 1" tall and weighs about 99 pounds?

-I do not belong, Oregon

If you only take a drug one time and one time only, then you will not be addicted. The problem is that there is a lot we still don't know about who becomes addicted and why, and after how much drug exposure. We do know that each person is different, so 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. However, just because you don't get addicted doesn't mean you won't have bad side effects, especially for someone your size and weight.

-Steve Grant

can you OD off oxycotton?

-andisol, Maryland

Great question! OxyContin is used to treat pain. In people who have serious pain, it can be very helpful but in people who don't take it under medical supervision, it can be very dangerous. Many people have been dying from painkiller overdoses (OD). The U.S. has had an epidemic of death from painkiller overdosing in the past few years.

-Wilson Compton

can you overdose from marijauana

-90cav, Pennsylvania

Probably not. However, you can become addicted to it.

-Ruben Baler

Hello :) How can i tell if my friends are using drugs or alcohol?

-WAFFLLLLLESSSSS, Pennsylvania

Good question. When someone is really intoxicated, it may be pretty obvious they are using. They may smell of alcohol, have blood-shot eyes or have really slurred speech. But sometimes it is really hard to tell if someone is using drugs or alcohol. They may have mood changes (such as becoming irritable and angry for no reason). One way to find out is to ask them.

-Wilson Compton

hello im kenzie and i have had a bad day! what is vicodin

-kenzie&skyler<3, Arizona

sorry you're having a bad day.... things will get betterseveral people have asked what is vicodin today. Vicodin is a medication that is prescribed to relieve severe pain. When taken asked prescribed it can be very effective in relieveing pain and helping people recover from medical procedures for example. But it can be very dangerous if used to party, or get high...it can be deadly.

-Cindy Miner

HELLO!!!!!! HI I HAVE A QUESTION AND THAT WOULD BE WHAT CAN I DO TO SHOW MY FRIEND THAT DRUGS WILL HURT HER

-jugelett,

Have your friend visit this website: http://www.drugabuse.gov/consequences/.Good luck!

-Lisa Onken

hey Dr. Joseph what can you play on the guitar

-friedchicken747, Pennsylvania

Hi friedchicken747, thanks for the question. I generally play blues and some jazz, but I have been known to play anything. I love playing...it's my 'drug of choice!'

-Joe Frascella

hey Dr.joe! what are date drugs and what do they do to you?

-Jasmine, Maryland

Hi Jasmine! Thanks for your question. Date drugs like rohypnol or GHB are generally considered club drugs. They are named club drugs because they tend to be abused at nightclubs, bars, raves, or trance scenes. Ketamine, ecstasy, and meth are other examples of club drugs. Here is some detailed information that I pulled up for you on these drugs. Hope this helps! How are Club Drugs Abused?

Raves and trance events are generally night-long dances, often held in warehouses. Many who attend raves and trances do not use club drugs, but those who do may be attracted to their generally low cost and the intoxicating highs that are said to deepen the rave or trance experience.

Rohypnol is usually taken orally, although there are reports that it can be ground up and snorted. GHB and Rohypnol have both been used to facilitate date rape (also known as "drug rape," "acquaintance rape," or "drug-assisted" assault). They can be colorless, tasteless, and odorless, and can be added to beverages and ingested unbeknownst to the victim. When mixed with alcohol, Rohypnol can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault. GHB also has anabolic effects (it stimulates protein synthesis) and has been sought by bodybuilders to aid in fat reduction and muscle building. Ketamine is usually snorted or injected intramuscularly. How do Club Drugs Affect the Brain? GHB acts on at least two sites in the brain: the GABAB receptor and a specific GHB binding site. At high doses, GHB's sedative effects may result in sleep, coma, or death. Rohypnol, like other benzodiazepines, acts at the GABAA receptor. It can produce anterograde amnesia, in which individuals may not remember events they experienced while under the influence of the drug. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, so called because it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment from the environment and self. Ketamine acts on a type of glutamate receptor (NMDA receptor) to produce its effects, similar to those of the drug PCP.1 Low-dose intoxication results in impaired attention, learning ability, and memory. At higher doses, ketamine can cause dreamlike states and hallucinations; and at higher doses still, ketamine can cause delirium and amnesia.

Addictive Potential

Repeated use of GHB may lead to withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. Severe withdrawal reactions have been reported among patients presenting from an overdose of GHB or related compounds, especially if other drugs or alcohol are involved.2 Like other benzodiazepines, chronic use of Rohypnol can produce tolerance and dependence. There have been reports of people binging on ketamine, a behavior that is similar to that seen in some 3 What Other Adverse Effects do Club Drugs Have on Health?

Uncertainties about the sources, chemicals, and possible contaminants used to manufacture many club drugs make it extremely difficult to determine toxicity and associated medical consequences.

Coma and seizures can occur following use of GHB. Combined use with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea and breathing difficulties. GHB and two of its precursors, gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and1,4 butanediol (BD), have been involved in poisonings, overdoses, date rapes, and deaths. Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other CNS depressants. Ketamine, in high doses, can cause impaired motor function, high blood pressure, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.

-Joe Frascella

Hey i have a question i would like answered if you are getting someone off of heroine what is the easiest and most effective way.

-will, Utah

Hi. Thanks for asking a great question. there are 2 different medications that help people quit heroin: methadone and buprenorphine (also known as 'bup'). each is taken once per day to help reduce the cravings for heroin that a person might feel. but getting counseling or therapy is just as important as the medication in beating an addiction to heroin. that will help a person keep clean. For more information about bup, go to archives.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/buprenorphine.html. thanks again and keep those questions rolling in.

-Harold Perl

hey i need to know, what is the safest way to quite heroine

-will, Utah

Hi. Thanks for coming to chat day and asking a great question. There are 2 different medications that help people quit heroin: methadone and buprenorphine (also known as 'bup'). Each is taken once per day to help reduce the cravings for heroin that a person might feel. But getting counseling or therapy is just as important as the medication in beating an addiction to heroin. The combination of meds and therapy will help a person keep clean. For more information about bup, go to archives.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/buprenorphine.html (Archives). Did you know you can send us questions about drugs anytime of the day on our Teen Web site? http://teens.drugabuse.gov/. It might take a few days, because our scientists are pretty busy - but real questions will get real answers! Thanks again and be sure to send us more of your questions.

-Harold Perl

Hhat is the worst drug out there and why is it the worst drug?

-Tiaa [[, Utah

its hard to specifically say one drug is worse than others since one drug aybe really bad for some people but not for others, this would depend to a large extent on genetic factors. However, overall its recognized that methampehtmine is among the most addictive and most toxic. But heroin is also highly addicitve and accounts from more death from overdoses than any of the other illicit substances.

-Nora Volkow

Hi guys.. why do teens become involved in smoking

-GEORGE, Virginia

Hi! A lot of the movies and TV shows portray smoking as hip or cool and this may be one thing that significantly effects why teens start smoking. Also, many other reasons could influence why teens might start doing something bad for them even after all of the health information they have been exposed to shows that smoking is bad for health. For example, difficult family situations, depression, anxiety, stress, or problems in school could lead to teens making harmful choices. Have you seen the Sara Bellum Blog? It has all the latest information on drugs and drug abuse, and you can comment on what's written. Check it out at http://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/

-Kristen Huntley

dose smokeing marijuana Make your sperm count low?

-12holtrubw, Utah

Yes, studies have shown that smoking marihuana decreases seprm count

-Nora Volkow

Dr. Joseph, what is alcohol and do you have a drinking problem?

-SWEETEST GIRL, Maryland

Dr. Lisa Onken Is you job easy? I wato become a psychologist

-Casa Grande*, Arizona

I wouldn't call it 'easy.' (I hope that's not the ONLY reason you want to become a psychologist!). But I would say that the job is very fulfilling in many ways. It is rewarding to help in the development of treatments for people with addictive and psychiatric problems because it is great to know that people can have these problems, recover from these problems, and go on to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. People can really change for the better, and that makes all the hard work worth it!

-Lisa Onken

Dr.Joseph, have you ever done drugs before. You help all these people out with their questions but have you had your own addiction to drugs anytime in your life?

-lexxie, Maryland

Hi Lexxie,Thanks for your question! Fortunately, I have not had any struggles with addiction anytime in my life, but that said, I do believe that we are all capable of becoming addicted to drugs or to other things...such as food, internet, gambling, shopping, even work! We all have the brain biology that can allow us to fall victim to addiction. I am currently addicted to playing the guitar!Thanks much for your question.Dr. J

-Joe Frascella

dr.richard if you took drugs before skiing would u die from wrecking? if i took X and went scuba diving in a fish tank with a without a O2 tank would i drown? will a painkiller remove the feeling from my face allowing me to cook it in a frying pan?

-SCLions073, Pennsylvania

Hi SCLions 073. That's exactly the problem. If you get messed up and try to do things that require coordination you could wreck BAD! When the pain reliever wears off you will feel all the pain and then some. When I go skiing I want to feel all the sensations and not have them dulled. That way I can enjoy the experience. For me going skiing and not remembering is not much fun. Why would you want to put your face on a frying pan? Not a good move to improve your looks, but on drugs it might just SEEM like a good idea.

-Richard Denisco

drugs make me feel good like cocaine but when i come down from it im pissed. im angry and irratable. and grumpy! why is that?

-[B]ri, Arizona

Great question! Drugs can have different effects when you are taking them compared to when you are coming off of them. That is there is the pleasurable or reinforcing phase that can be followed by a period of negative consequences, as you have described. These effects are due in part by how cocaine effects the brain. Initially there is a surge of brain chemicals, such as, dopamine causing the rush/high, and thereafter, the brain is depleted of these chemicals that leads to the negative consequences.Hope this helps.For more information on cocaine, check out: http://drugabuse.gov/drugpages/cocaine.html

-Joe Frascella

drugs were poular in the 60s and the hippie style is realy in so are more people doing drugs now then in the 90s

-larkinsalexis, Michigan

Great question! Every year NIDA supported researchers at the University of Michigan ask 8th, 10th and 12th graders around the country about their use of drugs. They have shown that drug use in 2008 is higher than it was in 1990, but lower than it was when it peaked in the mid-90's. You can look at the results on the NIDA Web site at http://www.drugabuse.gov/Drugpages/MTF.html.

-Marsha Lopez

Dude my EX girlfriend was on drugs and i still care for her how can i help her?????

-darknessr1sing, Washington

When someone has a drug problem, it's not always easy to know what to do. If your girlfriend is using drugs, encourage her to talk to a parent, school guidance counselor, or other trusted adult. If she doesn't feel comfortable doing that then she can also use anonymous resources, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) and the Treatment Referral Helpline (1-800-662-HELP). It's important to not make her feel judged and show her support by listening. I hope this helps.

-Redonna Chandler

Es Chocolate una drug?

-Bubbles, West Virginia

Hi there,Chocolate is not considered a drug; although--like anything--it should be consumed in moderation (sadly for me b/c it's my favorite food)!

-Stephanie Older

everytime i hide my stash, somehow my dog still manages to find it. its costing me alot of money what shoud i do?

-stephyyttt, Oregon

You should thank your dog, sounds like he or she is looking out for your best interest. Good dog!

-Cindy Miner

for instance if we take an overdose of advil we might die. is there any such thing as overdose for drugs like heroin, cocaine, opium and marjiuanna

-filmon, Maryland

Absolutely--heroin/opium can stop your breathing--in fact, there are about 35,000 'unintentional poisonings' each year--most are drug overdoses, and many related to the abuse of prescription opioids. Cocaine can cause convulsions that can also stop your breathing or cause cardiovascular events. Marijuana does not generally produce overdose deaths, but it can make you take risks--like driving under the influence of marijuana or alcohol or both-which can have fatal results.

-Susan Weiss

for some reason, i like the smell of gasoline, is this harmful. I dont sniff it straight out of a can, but it stand close to the pump

-toothfairy, Ohio

The chemicals that make up gasoline belong to a class of drugs called 'inhalants.' They are all organic compounds. Like gasoline, many of the inhalants have a sweetish smell that is somewhat pleasant. But don't be fooled! These chemicals, when inhaled deeply, stick around in your body fat for a long time and can be released from the fat stores for several hours. Because these are all fat-soluble, they can interfere with the functions of many of the lipid membranes in your body. They can lead to liver and brain damage and these deficits are usually permanent. Did you know that inhalants can damage brain cells by preventing them from receiving enough oxygen too?

For more information about inhalants, check out http://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/facts_inhale1.php!

-Nancy Pilotte