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 i die from eating too much chocolate because of all the endorphins in it

-AW, Montana

No

-Ruben Baler

Can I die from smoking weed

-bfost123, Maryland

Hi bfost123: Most drugs can cause overdose and death if taken in high enough quantities. They can also cause death from accidents as a result of driving while being high -see this link for more information -- https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving. Marijuana can also cause a variety of health effects, including learning, attention and memory problems, increased heart rate, anxiety, paranoia, and even psychosis in some cases.

-Bethany Deeds

Can I eat nicotine?

-Dr. Mudbone, Illinois

Thank you for joining us, Dr. Mudbone! We would not recommend eating nicotine, as it is toxic, and can cause nausea and vomiting. Quick facts about tobacco, nicotine and e-cigarettes: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/tobacco-nicotine-e-cigarettes.

-Mary Rooney

About how long does a Cocaine high last?

-Dixon, South Carolina

Thanks for your question, Dixon! Cocaine's effects appear almost immediately and disappear within a few minutes to an hour. How long the effects last and how intense they are depend on the method of use. Injecting or smoking cocaine produces a quicker and stronger but shorter-lasting high than snorting. The high from snorting cocaine may last 15 to 30 minutes. The high from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Even though that sounds like a short amount of time, cocaine use is very dangerous. Be smart and don't start. Get more info at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine

-Mary Kautz

. How come teens and kids have so much access to vaping, drugs, and smoking?

-Jonny, Illinois

Good morning Jonny! Thanks for the great question. As you know, there are restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes to kids and teens, and most "drugs" are illegal. Yes, even with restrictions there is access, but most kids and teens are not vaping, smoking and using drugs. Access can occur thorugh a variety of methods -- such as sales to underage youth, or through the Internet. But, also, social media can make it seem like there is an increased pressure to use. It's important to know the facts about substances, both in terms of use, and in terms of the effects on health. Here are some resources for you.
Here is a great infographic on teens and drug use: https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/monitoring-future-2018-survey-results
Here are the latest statistics on drug use for Americans age 12 and older: www.drugabuse.gov/national-survey-drug-use-health

-Belinda Sims

a long time ago a kid tried to get me to vape but I said no why do you think they try to get others to vape and get addicted

-Cassie, Illinois

Hi Cassie,

It's often very difficult to say "no," especially to friends, so we commend you for resisting to peer pressure!
People use drugs for lots of different reasons, such as peer pressure, boredom, rebellion, curiosity, and so on. People can know drugs are bad for them, but they may still choose to take the risk (and even ask others to join them), while others may not be aware of all the risk. Then, once they're hooked, it can be very difficult to stop. Check out one of NIDA's Drug and Health Blog posts about why teens take drugs here: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/real-teens-ask-why-take-drugs.

Hope this helps!

-Jinhee Lee

A lot of kids use vapor devices, and the school seems unable to put and end to it. What would be the most effective way to prevent the continued use of these devices within our schools?

-507778, Illinois

I have heard of some vaping prevention programs being piloted in schools but do not know the results yet. None-the-less creating a drug-free cultural norm is an important protective factor.

-Bethany Deeds

About how much chocolate would I need to eat before becoming addicted to caffeine?

-HyperSniper, North Carolina

Hi Hypersniper
One cannot become addicted to caffeine. People could become dependent to it, if you drink regularly and find it difficult to quit without suffering withdrawal effects. You can eat as much chocolate as you want, it will not make you dependent on caffeine.

-Roger Sorensen

Acid is an illegal drug in my state so why are so many people easily getting it?

-kirsten, Oregon

Hi Kirsten-- Not sure why acid is so readily available where you live. Beware that acid, or D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is one of the most powerful mood-changing chemicals. They belong to a class of drugs called Hallucinogens that alter perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions).
For more on hallucinogens: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.
Here's information that can be helpful when someone lives in an enviroinment with lots of drugs around: http://abovetheinfluence.com/living-above/

-Heather Kimmel

ACID: most important experience of my life. opened my eyes. Thoughts?

-Punisher, Illinois

Hi there Punisher. So it sounds like you be reporting a spiritual experience? People have used hallucinogens for centuries ---mostly for religious rituals.
I guess I would share a " Buyer Beware" disclaimer with you. Acid, or D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is one of the most powerful mood-changing chemicals. It belongs to a class of drugs called hallucinogens that alter perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions). A person's response to these distortions is unpredictable, and someone who has one type of experience one time may have a very different type of experience another time.
Little is known about the long-term effects of hallucinogens. Speech problems, memory loss weight loss, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts have all been reported.
Is there some way you can connect to the universe without risking your health? Take care of yourself.
For more on hallucinogens: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.

-Tisha Wiley

Can doing drugs stunt your growth?

-Noah H, New Jersey

Hi Noah
Yes, anabolic steroids are well known for this effect. High hormone levels coming from steroids signal to the body to stop bone growth too early. AS use in teens can also stunt height if use happens before the growth spurt
thanks for a great question
b smart. b safe

-Ruben Baler

Can drugs affect someone's mental illness? i.e depression, schizophrenia, BPD, bipolar.

-16165, New Jersey

Hi 16165,
Yes, drugs can definitely affect someone's mental illness. I assume you are asking about illegal or street drugs, which are often used by individuals with mental health issues because they can temporarily reduce some of the negative feelings that their illness causes. Unfortunately, using these drugs can often make the symptoms of these disorders worse over time, as they teach the brain to respond the wrong way to these feelings. However, it is worth noting that properly prescribed medications for these disorders are also drugs, but ones that are specifically designed to help people with mental illnesses. To learn about mental health medications, visit: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/mental-health-medications/index.s...

-Eric Murphy

can drugs affect your nervous system?

-dj nini,

Hi DJ - Yes, absolutely. While some medicines affect different parts of the body, pretty much all drugs of abuse affect the nervous system, and by that I mean the brain! For some additional information, you might want to check out "Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction": www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/preface

-Steve Gust

do people get energy drinks as a drug just like steroids is it ?

-Demerius-FVSU4H, Georgia

People may take energy drinks for different reasons but is quite possible that some people take them because they can be addictive. Many energy drinks have caffeine, which provides a short-term boost of energy, but can be addictive.

-Carlos Blanco

Do people like vaping more than smoking pot in the world.

-JH, New Hampshire

The most recent data show that there are similar rates of vaping and marijuana use in high school seniors.

-Emily Einstein

Do shrooms help cure depression?

-LTHS2019, Illinois

Shrooms (psychedelic mushrooms) do not cure depression. However, some of the chemicals in shrooms are under study for possible effects in mental health conditions. So stay tuned -- someday we may have new treatments based on this research, but for now, don't look to shrooms for help. See a doctor or talk to a trusted adult.

-Joshua Gordon

do some teens vape to be considered "cool"?

-g, Illinois

Hi g from LTHS! People vape and use drugs for lots of different reasons. One is wanting to be 'cool' for fitting in (peer pressure). Other reasons may include boredom, rebellion, curiosity, and the list goes onnnnnnnn...... Check out this link for more reasons: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/real-teens-ask-why-take-drugs FYI: People can know drugs are bad for them, but they may still choose to take the risk, while others may not be aware of all the risks. Then, once they're hooked, it can be very difficult to stop. Check out one of NIDA's Drug and Health Blog posts about peer pressure here: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/i-wish-that-i-could-be-like-the-cool-kids. Thanks for the terrific question.

-Jinhee Lee

do tactile drugs exist

-Maite,

Hi Maite,
Several recreational drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, narcotics and (more famously) magic mushrooms have been reported to cause tactile hallucinations (the false perception of tactile sensory input that creates a hallucinatory sensation of physical contact with an imaginary object). These types of hallucinations can also be caused by neurologic disorders like Schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.
Thanks for the great question. Respect your brain and stay healthy.

-Ruben Baler

DO teens smoke more in high school or in college

-Angela-FVSU4H, Georgia

Hi Angela! About 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by age 18, and 98% first tried smoking by age 26 so both high school and college as prime times where smoking starts. More Information about smoking and prevention can be found at www.smokefree.gov.

-Steve Grant

do the people who play video games produce the same brainn waves as when someone is using cocaine.

-SB, Montana

hi s b
good question.
Brain waves could be useful but may not be all that informative in this context. Dopamine on the other hand tells a more interesting story: the dopamine releases people display in their brain reward centers during video gaming or online social interactions can be very similar to those that happen in the course of a drug experience. This is one of the reasons we think that some video games could be actually quite addictive.
Thanks for your interest.
best of luck

-Ruben Baler

Do u get worse when combining different types of alcohol

-romina ,

Thank you for your question! All of the forms of alcoholic beverages that people drink contain a type of alcohol called ethanol. It's the only type of alcohol that is even remotely safe to drink.
In terms of the different types of beverages -- wine, beer, distilled spirits -- they all contain the same drug, ethanol. Whether a person drinks beer, wine, spirits or all of the above, they're taking the same drug. It's not the combination, it's the amount of alcohol that causes harm.

-Heather Kimmel

Do you believe marijuana should be Legal?

-#VapeNation, Illinois

Hi -- Since the legalization of marijuana will lead to increased use and the problems that go along with that, NIDA hopes that good science will inform decisions about legalization. Whatever happens, we do not want more teens to use marijuana, because of the potential impact on the developing brain (whcih does not stop developing until you are in your mid-20s.) For more information on the negative effects of marijuana, see our booklet, Marijuana: Facts for Teens: www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens/letter-to-teens

-Steve Gust

Do you believe Marijuana should be used for medical purposes?

-Chungus, Illinois

There has been a lot in the news lately about medical marijuana. While the marijuana plant has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of any medical condition, there is early research suggesting that some of compounds in marijuana may potentially help treat things like epilepsy, cancer, obesity, or addiction. Scientists are studying these ingredients to try to develop new medications. A pill form of THC (an active ingredient in marijuana) is already available for certain conditions, such as nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and weight loss in patients with AIDS. Smoked marijuana isn't an ideal medication due to its negative health effects, including the risk of addiction and the damage that smoking can do to the lungs. www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens/letter-to-teens

-Tisha Wiley

do you guys feel using scare tactics is the best way to prevent kids from using drugs ya yeet

-dash, Illinois

Hi Dash--I perfer being honest. For instance, we know that the earlier that kids try drugs, the more likely they are to become addicted. we also don't know the long-term ways drugs can affect the growing brain and if you can recover from these changes. You get only 1 shot a growing a FABULOUS brain--why risk it? I should also mention that just knowing the facts and that drugs are harmful might not prevent people from using drugs, so we recommend creating a positive environment for yourself (by cultivating an awesome support network of family and friends) so that you don't go down that road. Here is a link to learn more about preventing drug abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/preventing-drug-use-among-children-adolescents. Thanks for the great question!

-Ruben Baler

do you like your job.

-Alfonso, Illinois

I LOVE my job!!! This chat day thing is a lot of fun! Plus, we support a lot of cool research that can help people. I like cool sceince!

-Dave Thomas

do you play fortnite?

-LB, Oregon

Nope, and when I asked around about it, I got laughed at. Seems everyone knows about it but me. Hmm, maybe I should look into it?

-Jinhee Lee

Do you see school districts with 'tip lines' used by students as a way to get help

-BMS, Oklahoma

Hey Bixby Middle School, I don't know of any school based "tip lines" in your area to assist teens with drug use and other issues but that is a great idea and could be a helpful resource. You might want to talk with teachers, your guidance counselor, or principal about resources and your ideas. More information about drugs can be found at on NIDA's teen site: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts. If you are interested in resources about drug treatment see treatment: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction

-Redonna Chandler

do you snort Heroine?

-D, Illinois

Hi D
Personally? no, i don't. And I don't recommend anybody doing it either.
Try to respect your brain, It's the only one you've got, and you need it to achieve your full potential.
best of luck

-Ruben Baler

Do you support the use of medical marijuana?

-Sunny, Illinois

I support research to figure out whether marijuana or its components can be used medically. We need to know more, but there's certainly lots of reasons to think that there is medical potential if we can figure out the right ingredients, doses, delivery methods, and conditions to use it for.

-Susan Weiss

Do you think alcohol should be illegal, if it doesn't has anything good?

-Pichimimi,

Hi Pichimimi,
In the U.S., it's not legal for folks under 21 years of age to drink alcohol. The harmful effects of alcohol on the teen brain are well known.
In adults and teens, binge drinking - drinking too much and too quickly - can cause alcohol to accumulate in your body and increase the risk of damage to the brain, liver and other organs. Alcohol overdose is a serious problem. Check out this fact sheet on Alcohol Overdose for more information.

Hope this helps!
- Vijay

-Vijay Ramchandani