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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how much drugs do you have to take in order for the drugs to affect your baby while you are pregnant

-lexiepooh714,

Not much, but it depends on which drug and how early or late in pregnancy you take it. In general, the earlier in pregnancy you take a drug, and the longer you keep taking drugs the more your baby will be affected. Alcohol is particularly harmful and opioid drugs (heroin, oxycotin and other prescription pain killers) might lead your baby to have withdrawal symptoms after birth. To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction. For more information on alcohol abuse, go to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism at http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/

-Steve Grant

How often do you do a chat day?

-11_lacey_11,

this is our very first chat day. We've certainly gotten a much greater response than we thought we would.....so we will probably being doing this again!

-Moderator

how quick do people get addicted

-Dale Sr,

depends on the drug,the way it is taken,your age and other factors.methamphetamine can produce addiction rapidly, and if you are younger you may become addicted faster than if you are older.To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Nora Volkow

how is marijuana addictive?

-Biggizzle93,

There is quite a lot of evidence that regular use of marijuana can cause addiction-that is, you feel an overwhelming urge to use in spite of knowing deep down that it is harmful to you. In fact, more teens in drug treatment are there for using marijuana vs. any other drugs of abuse.For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

-Barry Hoffer

how is marijuana addictive?

-Biggizzle93, Pennsylvania

There is quite a lot of evidence that regular use of marijuana can cause addiction-that is, you feel an overwhelming urge to use in spite of knowing deep down that it is harmful to you. In fact, more teens in drug treatment are there for using marijuana vs. any other drugs of abuse.For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

-Barry Hoffer

how is weed harmful?

-50cent,

There are many long-term effects of smoking marijuana. The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes, and,contrary to popular belief,it can be addictive. Marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, can harm the lungs. The use of marijuana can impair short-term memory, verbal skills, and judgment, and also distort perception. Marijuana has been associated with a number of mental conditions, including schizophrenia (psychosis), depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. It also may weaken the immune system and possibly increase a user's likelihood of developing cancer.For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

-Kevin Conway

how is weed harmful?

-50cent,

There are many long-term effects of smoking marijuana. The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes, and,contrary to popular belief,it can be addictive. Marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, can harm the lungs. The use of marijuana can impair short-term memory, verbal skills, and judgment, and also distort perception. Marijuana has been associated with a number of mental conditions, including schizophrenia (psychosis), depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. It also may weaken the immune system and possibly increase a user's likelihood of developing cancer.For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

-Kevin Conway

How long do drugs stay in your body?

-Amanda,

Good question! It really depends on which drug you are talking about. Some stay in the body relatively short times while others can stay around for many days. Did you have any specific drugs in mind?

-Joe Frascella

How long do you think the average person can live if they smoke cigarettes?

-Tim,

The lifetime of a person depends on many factors but what is known is that a person who smokes cigarettes has a lower life expectancy. That is, because of all the medical complications associated with smoking, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems, etc., a person who smokes has a chance of a shorter life. For more information about smoking go to: www.smoking.drugabuse.gov

-Ivan Montoya

how many questions do you usually get per day?

-jwphealth,

This is the first time we've done this....so far we've gotten over 30,000 questions and we still have several hours to go!

-Moderator

How many teens are drug abusers?

-lalalalalalalala,

There are a couple different ways we figure out how many teens are using drugs in the US. One of the national surveys we use to come up with this number is the Monitoring the Future study, which reported about 15% of teens were current drug users in 2006, meaning they had used in the past month. To read more about the patterns of drug use go to http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Stats.html.

-Marsha Lopez

How many time do you have to use a drug in one day to abuse it?

-jaccaboo,

There is a lot we still don't know about who becomes addicted, 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. The teen brain is a work in progress: It undergoes dramatic changes during adolescence and into adulthood, so the younger a person begins to use drugs, the more likely he or she will progress to more serious drug abuse. For more information, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/addiction.html.

-Marsha Lopez

how many times do you have to use a drug to abuse it?

-sara,

Good question! There isn't a set cutoff in the number of times. In fact, it takes one use to run the risk of abusing a drug. Some drugs, for example heroin, can cause addiction in users very quickly. There is still a lot we do not 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. If you do, the earlier you stop the more likely you will avoid addiction and the harmful brain changes that lead to it. For more information on addiction please go to: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/brain-and-addiction

-Ivan Montoya

How many young people are addicted to drugs?

-Zou,

There are a couple different ways we figure out how many teens are using drugs in the US. One of the national surveys we use to come up with this number is the Monitoring the Future study, which reported about 15% of teens were current drug users in 2006, meaning they had used in the past month. There is a lot we still don't know about who becomes addicted, 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. For more information, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/addiction.html. To read more about the patterns of drug use go to http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Stats.html.

-Marsha Lopez

How meny teenagers in the US do drugs?

-alyssajane,

If you're talking about illicit drug use 17% of 10th graders have used any illicit drug in the past month. This includes marijuana, cocaine, opiates, etc., but does not include smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.

-Aria Crump

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET ADDICTED

-opp u no me,

it depends on the drug,the way it is taken,your age and other factors. methamphetamine can produce addiction rapidly, and if you are younger you may become addicted faster than if you are older.To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Nora Volkow

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET ADDICTED

-opp u no me,

it depends on the drug,the way it is taken,your age and other factors. methamphetamine can produce addiction rapidly, and if you are younger you may become addicted faster than if you are older.To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at
http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/

-Nora Volkow

hOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET DRUGS OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM?

-Yung-F@b0,

It depends on the drugs and the part of the body you are talking about. Most drugs will be detectable in several different parts of the system. Marijuana for example can stay in the urine for several days up to several weeks depending on how much is smoked and for how long. Marijuana and other drugs can be detected in the sweat, saliva, and hair as well. In the hair, drugs and drug metabolites (components of the drug broken down by your body) can be detected for a very long time.You can find out more about drug testing at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/testingfaqs.html.

-Steve Gust

How long does it take to get of drugs ?

-Koas,

depends on the drug, how long have you been taken it, your age, your genetics, and your ability to get treatment.for more information on treatment: http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Treatment.html

-Nora Volkow

how long does marijuana stay in your system?

-shaner,

If one uses marijuana occasionally, then it (and its metabolites) will leave the body after 1 to 2 days. If one is a heavier user, it can stay in your body as long as 30 days. For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

-Cora Lee Wetherington

How long does Oxycontin stay in your system?

-dfssadfhsdk,

It depends on how much you've taken and what test is being used to detect it. A sensitive test can pick up a single dose, for instance.

-Frank Vocci

How long would you smoke crack to get high even a little

-johnk,

you can smoke for 30 seconds and that will make someone very high but it can also harm their brain and heart

-Nora Volkow

How many brain cells do we have?

-SK8TER,

The human brain holds about 100 billion nerve cells

-Nora Volkow

how many braincells does a brain have

-dj jay,

a brain has about 100 billion cells.If I only had a dollar for every brain cell...The really amazing thing is that each of those can receive thousands of connections, so you do the math to find out how incredibly complex our brain really is. Something worth taking good care of.

-Joni Rutter

how many chemicals are in marijuana?

-akelly09,

Marijuana has hundreds of different chemical components, but the main active chemical is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).THC is a type of cannabinoid, and scientists estimate that there are over 60 of this type of chemical in the marijuana plant.Some of the other harmful components include carbon monoxide and various kinds of cancer causing compounds.For more information about marijuana, go to https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana.

-Steve Gust

How many different kinds of durgs are there?

-geltz_c11,

stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine; sedatives like alcohol and benzodiazepines; opiates like heroin; cannabinoids like marihuana; hallucinogens like LSD and PCP; nicotine like cigarettes. You can find out more about that at: http://www.drugabuse.gov

-Nora Volkow

how many douses does it take to fully addicted to any drug

-heavymetal,

There is no precise answer that can be given to your question, because it all depends on things like: what drug?, who is using?, how frequently? and factors related to the individual taking the drug, etc.

-Barry Hoffer

How many high school kids each year start taking illegal drugs?

-asdfjkl;,

Great question! According to the Monitoring the Future study , nearly half (48%) of 12th graders, over one third (36%) of 10th graders and 20.9% (one in five)of 8th graders have used drugs at some time in their life. There is additional information about this topic and related questions at this website: http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/MTF.html. Hope this helps!

-Wilson Compton

How many kids die from drugs?

-findling_d11,

That is a complicated question because not all drug deaths are identified as drug deaths. Intentional misuse of hazardous materials for example results in a lot of poisoning deaths and they may not be recognized. In general about 17,000 deaths a year are from use of illicit drugs, however this is not broken down by age. In addition, 440,000 die from tobacco related illnesses and 50,00 from alcohol every year.

-Liz Robertson

How many people die a year from drugs?

-jbert,

That is a complicated question because not all drug deaths are specifically identified as such. Intentional misuse of hazardous materials, for example, results in a lot of poisoning deaths and they may not be recognized. In general about 17,000 deaths a year are from use of illicit drugs. In addition, 440,000 die from tobacco related illnesses and 50,000 from alcohol every year.

-Marsha Lopez