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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do different drug require different specialized treatment plans for rehab

-spence_5644, South Carolina

Great question! Actually, each PERSON in treatment requires a specialized treatment plan tailored specifically to that person. This includes addressing the drug(s) being used as well as multiple other factors including family dynamics etc. This is why treatment plans are SO important.

Thanks for asking!

-Jack Stein

Do drugs affect lifespan

-nicole, Maryland

Hi Nicole! Thanks for your question. There are a few ways to look at drugs affecting lifespan. Some drugs can cause overdose and death (heroin, opioids like fentanyl) ,some drugs when abused can cause health issues (cocaine can cause cardiac problems), and certainly if people are under the influence they may make bad decisions (like driving while drunk or drugged) which could result in a life-threatening situation. In general, it really would depend on the drug, how often it is used (frequency and also length of use), etc.

-Michelle Leff

Do drugs and alcohol actually affect intelligence?

-WP, Texas

For example, some studies show that marijuana users tend to have lower IQs compared to non-users, but others don't. However, more research is needed to show this for sure and for other drugs. But I think it is clear that drugs do not make a person smarter and likely negatively impacts intelligence, and it does affect grades in a negative way... Something to think about.

-Dave Thomas

Do drugs can improve your athletic ability?


Hello, Pelooon! Great question. There is a lot of misinformation about the effects of drugs on athletic ability. Your own body produces all the resources it needs to be a great athlete. The kinds of drug sometimes used by athletes are called anabolic steroids or stimulants. Adults and teens who use these drugs increase the risk for high blood pressure, an enlarged heart, irregular heart rate, heart attack, stroke, dangerously high body temperatures, and intense anger or paranoia. Far from a winning combination! For more information check out this resource.

-Katia Howlett

Do drugs have a taste?

-Mr. Man, Illinois

Sure. They do not taste good, but they do have a flavor. Typically, drugs are acidic or bitter. Marijuana is being sold in some states as "edibles" where it is included in such things as cookies that cover up the marijuana flavor. The issue here is that these cookies are sometimes eaten by mistake (a child just thinks its a cookie). Not a good thing.

-Dave Thomas

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: 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: Thanks for the terrific question.

-Jinhee Lee

Can you overdose on Advil

-IronNuggetz550, Illinois

Hi, IronNuggetz550! You can overdose on any drug. Overdosing on Advil can cuase severe stomach pain. Sometimes, the indivdual will have an allergic reaction to large quantites of Advil. The person should be treated in the emergency room if they have taken too much advil.

-Tisha Wiley

Can you overdose on Advil?

-BS, Montana

Hi B,
Taking too much Advil can make you sick and could cause acute organ failure, which could result in death. If you are seeking pain from serious pain, I would go to a doctor...

-Shwe Gyaw

can you overdose on advil?

-IronNuggetz550, Illinois

Hi IronNuggetz
Yes you can overdose on advil. The maximum amount of ADVIL (ibuprofen) for adults is 800 milligrams per dose or 3200 mg per day. An advil overdose can damage your stomach or intestines. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, black or bloody stools, coughing up blood, shallow breathing, fainting, or coma.
be careful

-Steve Gust

can you overdose on alcohol

-JW, Illinois

Excellent question. Yes, definitely. Alcohol overdose (or alcohol poisoning) occurs from a single episode of drinking way too much. You can potentially die from alcohol poisoning. Alcohol builds up in your bloodstream and can slow down important body processes like breathing and the gag reflex, which prevents you from choking. Even if you have stopped drinking or pass out, alcohol in the stomach and intestine can continue to enter your blood stream and circulate throughout your body.Critical signs of alcohol overdose include:

  • Mental confusion
  • Stupor
  • Coma
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Hypothermia, or low temperature
  • Bluish skin color
  • Paleness

If you think someone you know may be experiencing alcohol overdose, make sure to get help immediately. You can call 911.
You can learn more about alcohol poisoning and overdoses at:

-Aaron White

can you overdose on caffeine?

-BB, Montana

Hello B,
Yes, it is possible to overdose on any drug. As energy drinks and other more concentrated forms of caffeine and other drugs become available it is more likely this will happen. Recently a boy died in school after using several energy products within a short time.

-Shwe Gyaw

Can you overdose on gummy vitamins?

-MasterCageMan, Illinois

master cage man

-Bethany Deeds

Can you overdose on Gummy vitamins?

-MasterCageMan, Illinois

Hi masterCage man
Nope. sorry

-Shwe Gyaw

can you overdose on iron supplements?

-guinea pig!, Oregon

Hi Guinea pig
Absolutely, excess ingested iron can have an extremely corrosive effect on the gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa, which can manifest as nausea, vomiting (even blood vomiting), abdominal pain, and diarrhea; patients may become hypovolemic (decrease in plasma volume) because of significant fluid and blood loss.
hope this helps

-Bethany Deeds

can you overdose on lsd

-scoobertdoobert, Illinois

Hey scoobertdoobert! Thanks for your question! In my opinion, overdose means taking too much drug that requires medical attention and going to the emergency room at the hospital. LSD or D-lysergic acid ethylamide is a hallucinogen. LSD causes hallucinations or sensations and images that appear to be real although they are not real. LSD can cause sleep problems, panic and paranoia, speech problems, anxiety, and depression and suicidal thoughts. If a person keeps having these problems, then I would say that the person has overdosed on LSD.

-Roger Sorensen

Can you Overdose on Marijuana

-Foxtrot15, Illinois

You may have heard that nobody has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. However, a person can certainly overdose on a drug without dying, and marijuana is no exception. If a person uses a large amount of marijuana, perhaps by smoking too much of a high-potency marijuana or eating a lot of food products containing marijuana, they can experience very negative consequences, such as paranoia, severe anxiety, and even psychotic symptoms, which is when a person loses touch with reality. You can learn more about overdoses here:

-Bethany Deeds

Can you overdose on marijuana?

-madchrist7, California

You may have heard that nobody has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. However, a person can certainly overdose on a drug without dying, and marijuana is no exception. If a person uses a large amount of marijuana, perhaps by smoking too much of a high-potency marijuana or eating a lot of food products containing marijuana, they can experience very negative consequences, such as paranoia, severe anxiety, and even psychotic symptoms, which is when a person loses touch with reality. You can learn more about overdoses here:

-Dave Thomas

Can you overdose on marijuana?

-joey is dumb, Illinois

Hello Joey,

You can overdose on any drug. In the sixth century, a scientist named Paracelsus stated that "the dose makes the poison." In other words, any substance can be poisonous in a large enough dose. Now that marijuana is being sold in so many forms (as extracts, edibles, etc.), it's easier than ever to overdose. And the increased availability of marijuana products has led to an increase in accidental poisoning of young children. Here's more information:


-Roger Little

Can you overdose on marijuana?

-CoyoteStrong, Arizona

Hi CoyoteStrong (great username). Marijuana intoxication can, in rare cases, produce a temporary psychosis. There are no reports of people fatally overdosing (dying) on marijuana alone. However, people can feel some very uncomfortable side effects, especially when using marijuana with high THC levels. There are reports of marijuana users seeking treatment in emergency rooms, reporting unease and shaking, anxiety, paranoia, or hallucinations, and in rare cases, extreme psychotic reactions. Learn more about drug overdoses among youth. However, marijuana use can increase risks for accidents and injuries (impacts of drugged driving are discussed here:

-Jacqueline Lloyd

can you overdose on pain meds

-michaela poliqu, New Hampshire

Hi Mich,
Yes, especially prescription opioids, especially if one takes too much or in combination with things like alcohol or benzodiazepines. They are medicine but are also dangerous...

-Dave Thomas

Can you overdose on vaping?

-Roz, Illinois

Good question, Roz. It would be very difficult to overdose just from vaping normally, but too much nicotine will definitely make you very sick. However, nicotine is very toxic and can be absorbed through the skin. Recently, an increasing number of childen have been poisoned by nicotine that someone around them was using in a vaping device because this form of nicotine is very concentrated. In 2014, there were about 14,000 cases of nicotine or tobacco exposures reported to poison centers in the US. To learn more about tobacco, nicotine and e-cigs, see

-Heather Kimmel

Can you overdose on Xanax?

-Wiley Wildcat, Illinois

It is difficult to overdose on Xanax or other drugs like it (such as Valium) alone. But, when combined with alcohol or opiates like heroin or fentanyl, they can cause overdoses.

-Joshua Gordon

Can you snort E-liquid

-Gremlin Man , Illinois

It would be a pretty terrible idea, and wouldn't get the nicotine to your brain any faster.

-Mary Rooney

Can you survive an addiction to heroin?

-Garfield , Illinois

Yes. Although recovering from addiction requires treatment as well as support from family and friends.

There are medications to help with some addictions including nicotine/tobacco, alcohol, and opioids (e.g. heroin or pain pills). And there are also behavioral therapies to help people recover. But addiction is often a lasting condition, like heart disease or diabetes; there are treatments that help someone live a healthy, productive life but there is no cure. People in recovery from an addiction still have be very careful. NIDA scientists are working hard to develop better treatments to treat addictions to all types of drugs. You can learn more about effective treatment programs here:

-Carlos Blanco

Can you take drugs and still live a healthy life?

-The Real Lebron, Illinois

Using drugs isn't a healthy choice. When you use drugs, you risk becoming addicted. Once you become addicted, your priorities shifts to ensuring that you can get your drug. Once you start making those kinds of choices, you become increasingly unable to make other choices that keep you healthy--like eating well, exercising, and staying connected to the people in your life you value. If you want to live a healthy life, The Real Lebron, it is best to avoid using drugs.

-Tisha Wiley


-Garfield , Illinois

Yes--if you drive while high. Probably not from an overdose, but you are likely to experience other negative effects on mood or your thinking ability.

-Susan Weiss

can you die from using heroin one time

-AshAlk, Maryland

Heroin is a dangerous drug for lots of reasons. In particular, too much heroin can cause an overdose and make you stop breathing. That can happen even if it is your first time using heroin.

-Joshua Gordon