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 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 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 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

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

how many people die from drug overdoses a year?

-mclovin:-)342,

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. In addition, 440,000 die from tobacco related illnesses and 50,000 from alcohol every year.According to a recent report, deaths from accidental overdoses increased to 19,838 in 2004, from 11,155 in 1999, which was based on death certificate information (which does not detail which drugs were used). However, researchers believe the increasing misuse of prescription drugs by those ages 15 to 24 accounts for the majority of the statistic. I hope you find this helpful.

-Wilson Compton

How many people die from drugs ever year?

-scott,

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

How many people die from marijuana use a year?

-zstadler,

Although about 17,000 deaths a year are from use of illicit drugs,the number of these attributable solely to marijuana abuse is likely very, very small. BUT, marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug detected in drugged driving incidents - in impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers, and motor vehicle crashes.Evidence from both real and simulated driving studies indicates that marijuana can negatively impact a driver's attentiveness, perception of time and speed, and the ability to draw on information obtained through past experiences. NIDA's Monitoring the Future survey indicated that in 2004, 12.7 percent of high school seniors reported driving under the influence of marijuana, and 13.2 percent reported driving under the influence of alcohol in the two weeks prior to completing the survey. In addition the buying and using of drugs, including marijuana, can put you in situations and environments that are very real hazards to your safety.

-Marsha Lopez

How many people end up in hospitals because of drugs?

-multipule sports and people,

A lot:, these date are from the Drug Abuse Warning Network -- this is the emergency room data from across the USA. You can access the entire data set at the Dawn Website Illicit drugs in ED visits For 2005, DAWN estimates that 816,696 (CI: 666,947 to 966,446) ED visits involved an illicit drug. Thus, over half (56%) of all the drug misuse/abuse ED visits during the year involved an illicit drug either alone or in combination with another drug type. DAWN estimates that: Cocaine was involved in 448,481 ED visits (CI: 327,639 to 569,322), Marijuana was involved in 242,200 ED visits (CI: 203,395 to 281,006), Heroin was involved in 164,572 ED visits (CI: 123,613 to 205,531), Stimulants, including amphetamines and methamphetamine, were involved in 138,950 ED visits (CI: 86,163 to 191,737), and Other illicit drugs, such as PCP, Ecstasy, and GHB, were much less frequent than any of the above. Taking the margin of error into account, the stimulants (amphetamines and methamphetamine) may be as frequent as heroin in drug-related ED visits, but the stimulants are less frequent than cocaine or marijuana. After taking population size and the margin of error into account: The rates of ED visits involving cocaine, marijuana, and heroin were higher for males than females, but the rates for stimulants did not differ by gender, For cocaine, the rates for patients aged 18 to 54 were similar,2 with lower rates for younger and older patients, For heroin, the rates were highest for patients aged 21 to 44, For marijuana, the rates were highest for patients aged 18 to 24, and For stimulants, the rates were highest for patients aged 18 to 44.

-Liz Robertson

how many people in highschool use drugs in 2007?

-brittany,

According to the Monitoring the Future study 48.2% of 12th graders, 36.1% of 10th graders and 20.9% of 8th graders have used drugs at some time in their life.

-Wilson Compton

How many People in the U.S are on drugs?

-Antonelli,

The way we determine how many people in the U.S are on drugs is by doing big national surveys where we ask people to report whether or not they have used drugs. In 2006, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated 20.4 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This represents about 8.3 percent of the population 12 years old or older. Now this estimate is among people in HOUSEHOLDS, so it doesn't include the homeless or people in prison, among whom drug use is much more common than in the general population.

-Marsha Lopez

How many people under 14 are addicted to drugs?

-0002577,

Well, statistics on drug abuse generally begin at age 12. What we can tell you is that in 2006, 254,000 teens from ages 12 through 14 met the criteria for "substance dependence or abuse." That is, 34,000 12-yr olds, 67,000 13-yr olds, and 153,000 14-yr olds. [From http://www.samhsa.gov/data/population-data-nsduh)

-Marsha Lopez

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

Hypothetically, I have a family member that has been on drugs and got help. But, she is now abusing prescription drugs. Would it be alright to tell her that I hope she takes something that's gonna get her out of my life for good?

-RikuT3hDarkone,

if this person is your friend or relative you want to help them stop taking prescription drugs.For more on treatment and where you can find it, you can call the go to the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP or go to their website at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

-Nora Volkow

i am intrested in this carrer what should i do?

-prittypuff123,

I hope by "this career" you mean genetics of drug abuse! If so there are many ways to get into a career that involves genetics. An important thing to do is take classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science to build up your basic knowledge in the areas. Here is a good website: http://nihlifeworks.org/feature/index.htm

-Joni Rutter

I believe my mom is addicted to vicodin. How do I get her to stop?

-Shanequa,

I am sorry to hear about your mom's possible addiction to vicodin. It's great that you want to help her.Many women are having this problem. You might want to let her know of your concern that there are many effective treatments. Hopefully, she has discussed this with her doctor or someone else who can help her.For more on treatment, you mom can call the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP or go to their website at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov. Also, for more information on prescription drug abuse, this site may be helpful: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/prescription.html

-Cora Lee Wetherington

If 5 out of 8 my dad's siblings are alcoholics but my dad isn't, would i be more likely to be an alcoholic too

-jwphealth,

Wow, you have lots of aunts and uncles!! This is a tricky question. We know that alcoholism runs in families. Since your dad is not an alcoholic, your risk may be somewhat reduced, but the science would suggest that your risk is not zero. There are many factors that play a role in alcoholism, so it would be smart in your case not to start using alcohol.For more information on alcohol abuse, go to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism at http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/

-Joni Rutter

i have freinds that smoke but i dont know how to get them to stop. what should i do?

-TEJ418,

I'm glad to hear that you are concerned about your friends who smoke and would like to do something to help them quit. You should know that young people are much more likely to take advise from their peers than from health professionals or adults in general, so you have a better than average chance of making an impact. Here is a website with resources that will give you a lot of good information to help your friends quit smoking: www.smokefree.gov.

-Joni Rutter

I have heard Marijuana is 4 times worse for you than tobacco. Is that true? If so, how is it worse?

-Sailors,

Both the use of marijuana and tobacco can be hazardous to your health since both are smoked and contain carcinogens that can lead to cancer. For more information, see http://www.smoking.drugabuse.govand https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana.

-David Shurtleff