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 Nyquil give you a high or drunk feeling?

-keshawn14, Georgia

When taken in a high enough doses cold medicines can be intoxicating. Some teens think “over the counter” cough medicine (which can be bought at a drug store without a prescription) are safer to abuse than illegal drugs. But to get high, they need to take high doses, which can be dangerous.

See the NIDA site for more information: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/cough-and-cold-medicine-dxm-and-co...

-Maureen Boyle

can one become immune to their antidepressants like when we have a cold and we fight it off?

-amse0110, Maryland

amse0110: Hello again - another great question! Actually - we can't develop immunity to antidepressants like we can when we contract various infectious diseases, yet we can develop a tolerance to a medication. It is possible that after someone takes a medication for a long time, they might not respond to the medication in the same way that they used to. This is something that someone should talk with your doctor about - they may change the dosage of the meds or select a new antidepressant to try that might be as effective. 

-Denise Pintello

Can one lose weight with cocaine

-sufhsdvk, Maryland

Morning Suf,
Cocaine is a stimulant, and some stimulants are prescribed in weight loss programs.  Cocaine is not.   I suggest diet and excecise.  :)

Dave

-Dave Thomas

Can people become allergic to bath salts???

-itsyoGurl, Maryland

Hi againitsyo
people can become allergic to anything.
Ruben

-Ruben Baler

Can people get drunk off of mouthwash?

-breezywind, Minnesota

Totally depends on the mouthwash. Some mouthwashes contain no alcohol. Others contain alcohol. The amount can vary greatly from product to product. While it's theoretically possible to get drunk off of some mouthwashes, it would probably be disgusting and is not recommended!

-Aaron White

Can people mix drugs with a vape pen without your knowledge.

-MAEGNM, Maryland

Hello MAEGNM--So you put your vape pen down in a room full of pot users.  When you come back, you see them laughing and fear they may have switched your gummy bear cartridge out and put a cartridge with THC or marijuana in.  Possible?  Yes.  Likely without your knowledge--well, certainly not after the first puff.  But it's a good call to always keep your vape pen, and your drink, in your possession--thus it's all on you what you put in your body.

-Lis Davis

can weeed give you cancer?

-allofme, Maryland

Don't know yet--Its certainly not good for your lungs to smoke anything--and it is linked to bronchitis and other lung infections, but the jury is still out on lung cancer. Surprisingly, there have been a few studies showing a link between marijuana and an agressive form of testicular cancer that affects young men.

-Nora Volkow

can you be addicted to weed?

-rowane, Ohio

yes--about 9% of users become addicted (4M people in the US this past year), 16% of users who start as teens and 25-50% of daily users.  

-Susan Weiss

can you be so high that you could be possible to hurt yourself?

-ASHLEYA, Texas

Hi ASHLEYA - YES! Not only can you hurt yourself, but you can hurt others if you happen to be driving a car.

-Michelle Rankin

Can You Become Addicted to a Drug if You Just Take It Once?

-Kim il sung, Maryland

No, u need to take it several times to become addicted.  However what can happen is that the first time you get exposed to the drug you like it so much that it makes you desire to take it again in the future, and this can initiate a path to problematic drug use or addiction

-Nora Volkow

Can you become addicted to over counter drugs such as NyQuil or similar?

-Taytaylataytay, Michigan

Hello to Franklin High! I guess I would say techincally you could get addicted to anything. I think the important thing to mention is that it wise to not take any drug unless you really need it--that way it will be effective when you really do need it.

 

-Bethany Deeds

Can you become addicted to prescription drugs even if they are prescribed? If not, is there any way to avoid prescription drug addiction?

-erisrael17, Minnesota

This is a very important question!  Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else or takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor.  When prescription drugs are taken as directed, they are usually safe. However, it requires a trained health care clinician, such as a doctor or nurse, to determine if the benefits of taking the medication outweigh any risks for side effects. 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.  When dealing with prescription drugs it is very important to be following the direction of your doctor or nurse in order to prevent addiction. Check out https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-stimulant-medications-amphetamines for more information.

-Katia Howlett

can you die from alcohol

-HussamA, Texas

Yes, you can! Close to 90,000 people per year in the United States die from alcohol-related causes, including 5,000 or so teenagers. Stay safe and make smart choices. 

-Aaron White

Can you die from drinking alcohol?

-DavionH, Texas

Absolutely! Too much alcohol from any source -- beer, wine, liquor, -- can shut down the parts of the brain that keep us alive, leading to death. 
If you drink enough alcohol, parts of the brain that are important for keeping us alive can shut down. Then, the heart can stop beating and we can stop breathing. In essence, it's like alcohol flips a switch and shuts the body off. This is what's known as "alcohol poisoning."

It is also important to point out that having any alcohol at all can increase the chances of dying from injuries, such as falls, drownings, or car crashes.

It's also possible to die from long-term abuse of alcohol. The liver can become enlarged and inflamed and ultimately stop working. 

 

-Aaron White

can you die from hookah?

-TayDalto, Michigan

I guess so...especially if you drop the coal on you and catch fire! Ok that was a joke (a bad one), but on a serious note, many think that smoking tobacco through a water pipe (hookah) is safer than smoking a cigarette, believing that the water filters out the harmful chemicals.  That’s a myth! Hookah smoke contains the same harmful tar and other toxic chemicals that cigarette smoke has. Hookah smoking is linked to many of the same health problems as cigarette smoking—like heart disease and lung cancer. In addition, a typical hour-long hookah session, in which a person inhales several long, deep breaths of smoke, can equal as many as 100 cigarettes or more. Click here https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/high-school-seniors-smoking-hookah
 

-Albert Avila

can you die from huffing

-cassidyb, Texas

Yes, inhalants can be lethal. Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly cause heart failure within minutes. This syndrome, known as “sudden sniffing death,” can result from a single session of inhalant use by an otherwise healthy young person. 

-Maureen Boyle

Can you die from marijuana?

-SCARface, Michigan

Morning SCARface,
Not directly, but marijuana raises your risk of car accidents. People die from marijuana in indirect ways, same as with other drugs.
Eric

-Eric Wargo

can you die from smoking

-daquan, Maryland

Hi Daquan!

Yes, you can die from smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. As you can see, its better not to even start smoking!

-Bethany Deeds

can you die from smoking marijuana

-dsaund5400, Maryland

hi dsaund5400,
Not directly, but you can get behind the wheel and have a fatal accident, and do other stupid, dangerous things.
Eric

-Eric Wargo

can you die from the loud pack?

-alrivera12, Maryland

hi al
loud pack is marijuana right? then, no.

-Ruben Baler

can you die off drugs

-Denayzha, Georgia

YES! For example, 17,000 people die from prescrition opioids each year. Plus even if you do not overdose, some drugs can kill you, but it takes time.  About 440,000 people die each year from diseases related to smoking.  

For more information about drugs see:  http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse
Dave

-Dave Thomas

can you die the first time you take inhalants

-AshyumP, Texas

Yes, inhalants can be lethal. Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly cause heart failure within minutes. This syndrome, known as “sudden sniffing death,” can result from a single session of inhalant use by an otherwise healthy young person. High concentrations of inhalants may also cause death from suffocation, especially when inhaled from a paper or plastic bag or in a closed area. 

-Maureen Boyle

Can you get addicted to caffeine.

-knr@smsd.us, Pennsylvania

Hi knr@smsd.us-  9 out of 10 adults and 3 out of 4 children, teens, and young adults use caffeine it daily too—in the form of soda, coffee, and energy drinks.  That’s right, caffeine is a drug—a stimulant drug, to be exact. It’s even possible to be physically dependent on it—which means that a person who is used to drinking lots of caffeinated beverages can experience withdrawal symptoms if they quit. While most people do not become addicted to caffeine, try to take it easy on the caffeinated drinks...drinking a lot of them can make your heart race, make it hard to sleep or more.  Have a great day and check out NIDA information on https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts
 

-Albert Avila

Can you get addicted to cocaine?

-SCARface, Michigan

yep...as well as any drugs, frankly. Addiction occurs because drugs "hijack" the brain resulting in a chemical change that results in uncontrolled craving. Even marijuana- contrary to what many believe- can be addictive. Drugs work on the brain - not worth taking that risk in my humble opinion! check out drugabuse.gov for more info. Dr. Jack

-Jack Stein

can you get addicted to heroin the first time you try it?

-MeganS, Texas

Hi Megan

Probably won't get addicted from the very first time. Addiction involves a process in the brain. But, trying just once is really dangerous. Some people will likely SO much that they will have a really hard time avoiding using again, and again. from there, there is but a very small step to addiction.

hope this helps
ruben
 

-Ruben Baler

can drugs be different flavors

-ncampion, New Hampshire

Certain drugs such as cigarettes and e-cigarettes can come in different flavors. I just read yesterday that there are over 7000 different e-juice flavors!  Don't let the fun, fruity flavors fool you!  Drugs can be extremely harmful to your body and can have severe consequences.

-Albert Avila

Can drugs be used in a positive way?

-JDogJules, Maryland

Hi JDogJules- Good question!! And the short answer is that it depends on various factors.  It is important to know that ALL drugs can be harmful, except when taken as prescribed by a doctor.  Drugs have negative effects on brain functioning, on one's ability to make good decisions, and on one's health in general.  Below is some information on the effects of specific drugs.  It is important that you and your friends have the FACTS on the negative effects of drugs.  http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction

-Albert Avila

Can drugs cause depletion?

-Kearsarge, New Hampshire

Hi Kearsarge. Not sure what you mean, but if you are asking about depletion of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, the answer is yes,  For example, cocaine and methamphetamine are both stimulants and these can cause depletion of dopamine.  Ectasy can cause depletion of serotonin in the brain.

Hope this helps, and if you are interested in learning more, check out http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addi....

-Joseph Frascella

Can drugs cause internal bleeding?

-tamyra221344, Georgia

Dear tamyra221344 -- Sorry for the delay on answering your question-- we've been busy!  Luckily, internal bleeding is not a big problem in drug abuse. In general, drugs prefer to wreak havoc on the brain.

-Joni Rutter

Can drugs cause internal bleeding?

-tamyra221344, Georgia

The category of abused drugs does not usually have this as a side effect. Internal bleeding is more apt to occur in people who are prescribed heparin, aspirin, Coumadin (warfarin) or other blood-thinning agents and these are usually recommended only for people who have atherosclerosis or other serious heart disease.

-Nancy Pilotte