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 get high offcaffeine?

-SOS_Lucky, Maryland

Hey SOS_Lucky: You sure can get high off of caffeine! Even though it is legal,
c
affeine is addictive, and withdrawal symptoms include headache, dizziness, and shaking. Some people feel the effects of caffeine faster than others. If your body doesn't break down caffeine fast, too much of it can cause heart palpitations, and
people with heart trouble should steer clear of caffeine. For more information, see:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002579.htm. You probably know that some sodas have
caffeine, others have sugar, and many have both. A component of addiction is that the person affected hasirresistibleurges that make it difficult for them to moderate intake of common substances, like food and soda. What do you think?

-Joni Rutter

Do drugs have any calories?

-parisp, New Mexico

A calorie is a unit of energy...and most drugs are taken in tiny amounts and provide no nutritional value. So that would be a 'no.'

-Nancy Pilotte

Do drugs have different effects on different people?

-DKendall5587, Pennsylvania

Hey DKendall5587! This is a very astute question....they do, indeed! Here's why: Each person has individual differences that impact how they respond to a drug. People are different, and addiction has many sides to it that make a person more or less likely to become addicted to a drug, such as genetics (e.g., genes that metabolize drugs can be different across people), environment (e.g., drug availability; parents using drugs/tobacco/alcohol) and development (e.g., age--the younger you are when you try a drug, the more likely you are to abuse it), all of which play important and changing roles in determining how a person becomes addicted. No matter what, all drugs of abuse are bad for your body! Get accurate facts on drugs so you can make healthy decisions for your brain and body. See: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/ http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/by/6/drugs-abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/science-addiction Keep up the good work and 'Just Say Know!'

-Joni Rutter

Do drugs have similar results on animals as they do on humans?

-iank, New Mexico

Drugs can definitely affect animals. In fact, a lot of the research we support uses animals to examine the effects of drugs. When it comes to conducting tests related to intelligence, learning, and drug abuse, rats are a popular choice due to their high intelligence (believe it or not!), cleverness, and adaptability. Their psychology, in many ways, seems to be similar to humans. The great thing about rats and other animal models is that rats don't have social pressures, they don't care about being popular, or how they look (ever seen a rat with a Justin Beiber hairdo?). Rodents don't know what addiction is. This means that when scientists observe addictive behaviors in rats, they know that those effects are likely to have similar effects in humans. And, the rat brain has many of the same 'parts' as the human brain, just on a smaller scale. Believe it or not, they've been used in biology and psychiatry research since the late 1800's! Since then, rats have been used in many experiments, which have added to our understanding of genetics, diseases, the effects of drugs of abuse. A 2007 study found rats to possess metacognition (knowing about knowing), a mental ability previously only documented in humans and some primates. Thanks for the great question!

-Joni Rutter

do drugs help you become insane?

-123456789, North Carolina

Hi 123456789 Yes they can, there is actually a very strong link between drug use and mental illness, in both directions. Sometimes, people with mental illness use drugs in an attempt to self medicate (e.g., anxiety or depression), in other cases, drugs can trigger or exacerbate a mental illness. your question make sme think that you might find the following document on comorbidity intersting http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/rrcomorbidity.pdf good luck to you Ruben

-Ruben Baler

do drugs make people calm their nerves

-ricky, Georgia

Ricky, It really depends on the drug...some drugs are stimulants and can result in people feeling jittery and nervous, whereas other drugs such as depressants can have sedating and calming effects. So the short answer is it really depends on the type of drug as well as the reaction a person has to the drug. For example, some drugs like stimulants can have opposite effects...that is, instead of revving a person up, can have a calming effect. For more information go to: www.drugabuse.gov. Hope this helps. Joe

-Joe Frascella

do drugs make you hurt people

-mashcraft, Texas

They can. PCP has long been known to cause violent rage in some cases. And lets not forget about alcohol and bar fights. Also, just look at how many people are killed by drunk and drugged drivers.

-Dave Thomas

Do drugs make you overweight?

-IMSOBOREDLOL, Texas

There are no rules here, but it's probably the other way around. Chronic drug abuse slowly erodes the pleasure that a user derives from naturally pleasurable activities, like eating, so that many addicted individuals will tend to lose interest in food and indirectly lose weight as part of a general neglect in their well-being. It is an emerging fact of science that obesity and addiction appear to be related disorders of the reward system that share (and compete for) some overlapping circuits in the brain. So, in a sense, you would expect that obesity and addiction will rarely co-occur in the same individual. Interestingly, it has been reported that some morbidly obese patients that underwent bariatric surgery have a higher risk of taking up alcohol or other drugs of abuse. thanks for a great question. good luck to you.

-Dave White

Do drugs make you sterile?

-Blake Girl 67, Minnesota

Heroin can indeed reduce a man's sperm count and make him less likely to be father; cocaine can inhibit normal ovulatory cycles. But it just takes one sperm and one ready egg...so while doing these drugs will not make you sterile, they may reduce your chances of becoming a parent. But this is no guarantee! Practice safe sex if you are active; a history of drug usage will not make you sterile.

-Nancy Pilotte

Do drugs make your lungs black?

-Tyshawn, Georgia

Yes! Inhaling drugs deep into your lungs through smoking can deliver harmful chemicals to the interior surfaces of the lungs and eventually compromise the blood flow within the lung and lead to the formation of necrotic (dead) tissue. Normal lungs are pink, necrotic tissue is not. Hopefully you will prefer pink!

-Nancy Pilotte

Do fake cigars/cigars to help you quit smoking actually help you quit smoking?

-benjitheman51, Maryland

Fake cigars? You mean like candy chocolate cigars? Seriously, all tobacco products are harmful to your health. Quitting can be hard but there are lots of resources to help. Connect with us at http://go.usa.gov/42se to learn about free quit guides, help someone else quit by encouraging them with a free eCard, and read more statistics that can help a friend quit.

-Cindy Miner

do hookahs cause cancer?

-nathanb1998, Maryland

So you know when you are using a hookah, you are actually smoking tobacco right? They might add some fancy flavors and tell you that the water is filtering out the bad stuff. Don't believe them....you are still inhaling tobacco smoke and exposing yourself and your lungs to nasty stuff. There are no safe tobacco products...don't believe the hype out there.

-Cindy Miner

Do inhalants harm your brain?

-JJohnson, Texas

Hi JJohnson,

Most inhalants depress the central nervous system in a manner not unlike alcohol. The effects are similar—including slurred speech, lack of coordination, euphoria, and dizziness. Inhalant abusers may also experience light-headedness, hallucinations, and delusions. With repeated inhalations, many users feel less inhibited and less in control. Some may feel drowsy for several hours and experience a lingering headache.

Although it is not very common, addiction to inhalants can occur with repeated abuse

Eric

-Eric Wargo

Do kids get presciption drugs?

-#1SoulEaterFan5, New Jersey

yes, unfortunately, they get them all too easily--usually from friends and family. Of course, that's different from getting them prescribed for you from a doctor for a real medical reason.

-Jen Katt

Do Mollys really make you sweat?

-Craig, Alabama

'Molly' is an abbreviation for 'molecular' and refers to the pure form of ecstasy, or MDMA. Thus, it has all the effects of MDMA. Learn more by clicking on this link: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/educators/curricula-and-lesson-plans/mind-over-matter/hallucinogens/how-mdma-and-mda-affect-your

-Nancy Pilotte

Can you overdose on steroids?

-dae dae, Alabama

No, steroids by themselves will not kill you. But their repeated usage can lead to the formation of blood clots that can lead to strokes...and the strokes can kill you. But I suspect you would rather stick around for a while...avoid these drugs! They can give you more than you bargained for because they disrupt the normal production and balance of hormones in the body, and can lead to a long list of problems, such as reduced sperm production, shrinking of the testicles, male-pattern baldness and breast development in men. In the female body, anabolic steroid abuse can cause masculinization. This means that females may experience decreases in body fat, coarsening of the skin, and deepening of the voice. Women may also experience excessive growth of body hair (chest, chin, back, etc.) and lose the hair on their head. And they may make you stop growing tall before your time as they hasten the closure of the long bones in your legs. They may also increase the risk of blood clots and damage to heart muscle. Most important, with continued steroid use, some of these effects can become irreversible. Are those enough reasons to keep away from abusing steroids? See more at http://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/facts_ster1.php

-Nancy Pilotte

Can you overdose on weed?

-swimma, Pennsylvania

Probably not--but it can kill you by increasing your risk of being in an car wreck---driving while high about doubles your risk of being in an accident, and if combined with even a little bit of alcohol--the risk is even greater. for more info on mj, check out: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana.

-Susan Weiss

can you really get smarter from smoking weed?

-brookep, Oklahoma

No; in fact, there is some research that suggests that weed, or marijuana, can have a negative impact on learning and memory. Visit the teen website to find out more information on marijuana: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana .

-Michelle Leff

Can you smoke steroids

-Smokey, Alabama

no

-David Shurtleff

Can you tell me what speed balls are and why they are so dangerous

-rbartlett, New Hampshire

Hello New Hampshire! Speedball is a combination of heroin and cocaine and this is a combination that can kill you. Heroin is an opiate drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin enters the brain, where it is converted to morphine and binds to receptors known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain (and in the body), especially those involved in the perception of pain and in reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem—important for automatic processes critical for life, such as breathing (respiration), blood pressure, and arousal. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of respiration. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that not only affects your brain, but also speeds up your heart, increases your blood pressure, and heats up your brain. The combination can have fatal consequences. This link will take you to more information about the impact of drugs on the brain and body: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/science-addiction

-Nancy Pilotte

casn your sexual oreintation be changed by using any drugs, legal or illegal?

-Zach H, Maryland

LOL! Did someone tell you that? HA! No way....just think how many people smoke and drink, did it change their orientation? Nope.

-Cindy Miner

Could marijuana make psychotic?

-Zach A, Colorado

Yes--if you take too much of it, you can have a psychotic response, which usually disappears when the drug's effects wear off. However, in some people who are genetically (or otherwise) vulnerable, marijuana use may contribute to a longer lasting psychosis. This is especially true if you start using when you are young.

-Susan Weiss

Do you know some of the prominent dangers of the drug Salvia?

-iank, New Mexico

Salvia is a mild, mind-altering herb, common to southern Mexico and Central and South America. See http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/salvia.htm for some interesting facts. It is currently not linked to many health or crime effects, but perhaps effects might be detected in future research. Some early studies in animals shows that the drug in the salvia plant causes memory and learning problems.

-Dave White

do you think any of these questions are stupid?

-eat, Pennsylvania

Not stupid, but some are funnier than others :)

-Joni Rutter

Do you think meth is good for the human body?

-Jatin, New York

No, very bad in fact. See http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/methamphetamine For some pretty gross pictures of the effects on the human body, see the Sara Bellum Blog.

-Jen Katt

do you think the electronic cigarette help fight addiction effectivly?

-Billy D, Maryland

Electronic cigarettes are so new to the scene that we don't have a lot of scientific data on their effects yet and we don't even know that much about what's in all of them. The ones that have been tested contain varying amounts of nicotine (in fact some e-cigs say they have nicotine but don't). The nicotine is dissolved in another chemical so that it can be heated usually by a small battery in the e-cig. There have been a few reports of e-cigarettes exploding when people use them causing some serious injuries to their hands and faces. The bottom line....you don't know what you are getting in these products...so don't believe the hype, hype usually means they want your money. Personally, I want to keep my money to spend on fun things, like treats for my dogs...or going to a University of Maryland basketball game!

-Cindy Miner

Do steriods help build muscles?

-msiddiqui, Texas

Great question and the short answer is yes; steroids can increase muscle mass. But this will not occur without exercise and excersing is a much better way to build muscles and get fit. Steroids have some negative side effects that are sometimes permanent. Among males this includes shrinking of the testicles, male-pattern baldness and breast development. Females may experience coarsening of the skin, deepening of the voice, excessive growth of body hair (chest, chin, back, etc.), and loss of hair on the head. Steroids can even increase the risk of blood clots and damage heart muscle. So, my advice is go for a run, pump iron, ride a bike, and find safe ways to get fit! More information on steroids can be found at: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/anabolic-steroids

-Redonna Chandler

Do steroids affect male private parts?

-kathy p, Massachusetts

Yes. They are responsible for you going from a child to an adult. But it is not all rosy if you take more than your body normally produces! They can give you more than you bargained for because they disrupt the normal production and balance of hormones in the body, and can lead to a long list of problems, such as reduced sperm production, shrinking of the testicles, male-pattern baldness and breast development in men. In the female body, anabolic steroids abuse can cause masculinization. This means that females may experience decreases in body fat, coarsening of the skin, and deepening of the voice. Women may also experience excessive growth of body hair (chest, chin, back, etc.) and lose the hair on their head. And they may make you stop growing tall before your time because they hasten the closure of the long bones in your legs. They may also increase the risk of blood clots and damage to heart muscle. Most important, with continued steroid use, some of these effects can become irreversible. Are those enough reasons to keep away from abusing steroids? See more at http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/anabolic-steroids

-Nancy Pilotte

Do steroids cause side effects

-Bulls23, Pennsylvania

Yes. Steroids cause bad side effects, especially in a growing maturing young person. They can especially affect many of the hormones in your body that are changing as you grow. The changes are different in boys and girls and different depending upon the drug you might take. There are suggestions that steroids can lead to cancer, but this is not definitely proven yet.

-Marilyn Huestis

do steroids harm you later in life

-woodlandms, Illinois

Steroids can harm you now and later in life. They mess with your normal growth and development, interfere with your hormones and can affect your behavior. Aggression has been linked to steroid use, and some athletes claim that their steroid use produced brain cancer, but this is not proven yet.

-Marilyn Huestis