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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doe sniffing sharpies kill brain cells? like forreal?


Not sure about actually killing neurons, but repeated or long-term use can cause damage (some permanent) to brain cells and their myelin that could result in tremors, difficulty walking, solving complex problems, and remembering things.See this webpage for more information:

-Jim Bjork


-Allison, Indiana

Yes, it does. Heavy drinking - even for just a few days at a time - can cause fat to build up in the
liver. This condition, called steatosis, or fatty
liver, is the earliest stage of alcoholic
liverdisease and the most common alcohol-induced
liverdisorder. The fat build-up makes it harder for the
liverto operate and leaves it open to developing dangerous inflammations, like alcoholic hepatitis.For some, alcoholic hepatitis does not present obvious symptoms. For others, though, alcoholic hepatitis can cause fever, nausea, appetite loss, abdominal pain, and even mental confusion. As it gets worse, alcoholic hepatitis makes the
liverget dangerously big, and causes other problems like jaundice, bleeding, and difficulties getting bleeding to stop (clotting).Another
livercondition associated with heavy drinking is fibrosis, which causes scar tissue to build up in the
liver. Alcohol changes the chemicals in the
liverneeded to break down and remove this scar tissue. As a result, your
liverdoesn't work very well.If you continue to drink, this excessive scar tissue builds up and creates a condition called cirrhosis, basically causes the
liverto slowly shut down and stop working.A variety of complications, including jaundice and diabetes, and even
livercancer, can result as cirrhosis weakens

-Aaron White

does marijuana slow you down in speed

-crisi96, Maryland

Hi Rockville! If you mean does marijuana slow you in speed of cognitive processing and memory, there is evidence that it does affect these processes. It also has been shown that with respect to driving, people may think they are driving more slowly, but drivers who are high are much more likely to have accidents. For more information on marijuana please visit:

-Joe Frascella

Does marijuana stunt growth?

-Zombie Man!, Vermont

I am not aware of any data to suggest that marijuana stunts growth, from either humans or animal studies.

-Ruben Baler

does meth affect your lungs?

-Wclimo, Texas

Important question! Methamphetamine is commonly smoked. Smoking meth is probably the most impure form of ingestion. In addition to the possible effects on teeth, it is very damaging to the lungs. Methamphetamine users who smoke can experience mild asthma. Another problem with smoking meth is the potential presence of byproducts created when the heated drug comes in contact with air. Even if the initial drug is pure methamphetamine, the act of smoking it produces other chemicals, some of which may be toxic.In terms of snorting Methamphetamine, it is a powerful nasal decongestant, so methamphetamine users who snort it often have very clear nasal cavities. However, there have been rare cases of people snorting so much meth that their nose cartilage deteriorates, though snorting cocaine is far more likely to cause nasal degeneration, due to its vasoconstrictive properties. Snorting crystal meth may also cause meth mouth or meth teeth (tooth decay), since the nasal passages are directly connected to the mouth region, and it is theorized that damaging crystalline particles can still attach to the teeth. Another theory is that meth directly affects calcium balance in the body. Crystal meth has also been shown to decrease the production of saliva, the lack of which causes tooth decay. In addition to these problems, there are many other damaging effects of methamphetamine to the airway on the way to the lungs. Please see the following link for more information:

-Joe Frascella

Does meth put holes in one's brain?

-sambw1996, Minnesota

Not holes per se, like swiss cheese. Rather, it causes reductions in gray matter, as neurons either die outright, or shrivel smaller and connect with fewer other cells. We know this from brain scan studies of living volunteers. However, what is actually causing the changes in the brain's structure isn't well-known.

-Jim Bjork

does mixing different types of chew give you more of a risk for mouth cancer??????????

-jspud69, Pennsylvania

Hi there,Probably not...Smokeless tobacco use carries some of the same dangers as regular smoked tobacco use, like cancer, and mixing different types of smokeless will not likley change the outcome. In general, smokeless tobacco products can have as many 28 different cancer-causing agents in it, likely regardless of brand!! Use of smokeless tobacco products also increase a person's risk for cancer of the oral cavity, which can include cancer of the lip, tongue, cheeks, gums, and the floor and roof of the mouth. It is also linked with oral leukoplakia (yucky white mouth lesions that can become cancerous), gum disease, and gum recession (when the gum pulls away from the teeth). Let's not forget the totally disgusting 'juice' that needs to be spit out! YUk :s Need more information on smokeless tobacco products?? See

-David Shurtleff

Does PCP actually make you stronger or does it only make you feel stronger?

-IMS321, Louisiana

Good Afternoon to Louisiana! Phencyclidine or PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol and has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. PCP is a “dissociative drug,” meaning that it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment from the environment and self. No, it does not actually make you phsyically stronger--people under the influence of PCP may not feel pain and their perception of sensory stimuli may be altered. This link will take you to a page with more info on PCP:

-Bethany Deeds

Does pot effect you motor skills?


Yes, it sure does. There are lots of receptors for THC (the active ingredient in pot) in the brain regions that control balance, motor coordination, and sensory perception. Impairing all those functions at the same time can really impair your motor skills.

-Ruben Baler

does red whine helps your health

-jdcastellanos, Illinois

It is possible there are some small benefits of alcohol, but only for adults. Research suggests that up to one drink per day for females or two for males can improve the health of the heart. However, drinking at levels beyond that can increase the risk for cancers and other diseases. Importantly, there do not appear to be any benefits, only harms, associated with alcohol use during adolescence. To learn more about how alcohol affects your body, check this out:

-Aaron White

Does regular apple cider you buy from a farm contain

-ikar56, Pennsylvania

All fruit juice can contain small amounts of alcohol, but the levels are so small that they can't be tasted and do not affect the brain or behavior

-Aaron White

Does regular apple cider you buy from a farm contain alcohol?

-ikar56, Pennsylvania

All fruit juice can contain small amounts of alcohol, but the levels are so small that they can't be tasted and do not affect the brain or behavior.

-Aaron White

DOeS sAlvIa MAKE yoU TriP? Is BAD??

-Logan~~W, Pennsylvania

Hi there, good question. Definitely, salvia can make you trip, like many other types of drugs. When someone takes a drug to get high, the drug hijacks the normal function of the brain system, and you disrupt the normal workings of the system. Depending upon what the system's normal function is, the bad effects differ, as do the situations you are in when you use drugs. It is important that you know as much as you can about drugs before you make a decision about whether to use them or not. Think about the short term and long term effects, and base your decision on the facts. Thanks for asking.

-Marilyn Huestis

does smelling sharpie markers get you high

-avazquez, California

Sharpie ink includes propanol, butanol, and diacetone alcohols. These are part of a class of chemicals called inhalants. This class of drugs is huge, and includes lots of cleaners, glues, and gasses. Their primary way of getting a person high is to restrict oxygen to the brain!For more info, see

-Dave Thomas

Does smoking destroy brain cells?

-harry.h, Texas

When pregnant women smoke tobacco products, the babies frequently have smaller brain size than normal, and also show a greater likelihood of having behavior problems as young children. But we don't know why this is- whether neurons die, or they just fail to grow as they should. Serious stuff. As for people damaging their OWN brain by smoking, brain scan studies comparing smokers with non-smokers show that certain parts of the brain have different shapes or thickness of gray matter in smokers, and also the white matter, which is like the superhighway of nerve cells connecting to one another.

-Jim Bjork

does sniffing a marker actually make you high

-3[ARC]WABBLE, Maryland

Yes. Sniffing a marker can make you high. Liquids in the marker vaporize at room temperature once you open the cap. These are called inhalants and are breathable chemical vapors that users intentionally inhale because of the chemicals' mind-altering effects. Most inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication. If sufficient amounts are inhaled, you can experience a loss of sensation, and even unconsciousness.

-Kris Bough

Does sniffing a marker get u high?

-MobyNick, Maryland

It can, because the chemical that makes marker dry so fast is also the inhalant that can give you a high. Inhalants are often among the first drugs that young adolescents abuse. In fact, they are one of the few classes of substances that are abused more by younger adolescents than older ones. Inhalant abuse can become chronic and can cause death. Data from national and state surveys suggest that inhalant abuse is most common among 7th through 9th graders. Learn more about inhalants here:

-Nancy Pilotte

Does sniffing a marker get you high?

-Cat lover!:), Iowa

'Sniffing' permanent markers can be dangerous. The chemicals in these markers are considered 'inhalants.' Most inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication---like being drunk. If sufficient amounts are inhaled, nearly all solvents and gases produce a loss of sensation, and even unconsciousness. Irreversible effects can be hearing loss, limb spasms, central nervous system or brain damage, or bone marrow damage. Sniffing high concentrations of inhalants may result in death from heart failure or suffocation (inhalants displace oxygen in the lungs). The sad thing about inhalants is that the 'high' does not last very long but the side effects can last forever.

-Carol Krause

Does soda have

-jbruce, New Hampshire

No. You might be surprised to know that fruit juices, like orange juice, can contain small amounts of alcohol. When yeast, which exists naturally in the environment, interacts with the sugar in juice, alcohol gets produced. Luckily, the amount of alcohol is so small that a person literally would have to drink gallons of juice to feel the effects

-Aaron White

Does soda have alcohol in it

-jbruce, New Hampshire

No. You might be surprised to know that fruit juices, like orange juice, can contain small amounts of alcohol. When yeast, which exists naturally in the environment, interacts with the sugar in juice, alcohol gets produced. Luckily, the amount of alcohol is so small that a person literally would have to drink gallons of juice to feel the effects.

-Aaron White

Does taking

-JMerrill, New Hampshire

hithere is such a long list of ill effects that result from steroid abuse that i will just paste a link here for you to visit.thanks for the question!!

-Ruben Baler

Does taking steriods really make you testicals small and your penis erectil dysfunctional?

-IMS326, Louisiana

Hello IMS326. This is an important question. Most people take steroids to improve their performance in sports or their body shape, but they don't think about the other effects of steroids that can certainly affect your behavior (think aggression) and your normal reproductive function. Yes, taking steroids could reduce testicle size and erection. This would depend upon the type of steroid, how much you took, and even your stage of development. It has been shown that steroids have serious effects on development if taken during puberty and adolescence. Any drug has multiple effects, so it is always best to only take them under the advice of a physician who can weigh the benefits of a drug and its negative effects.

-Marilyn Huestis

Does taking steroids do anything to your body beside making your testicles smaller

-JMerrill, New Hampshire

hithere is such a long list of ill effects that result from steroid abuse that i will just paste a link here for you to visit.thanks for the question!!

-Ruben Baler

does THC prevent cancer by killing cancer cells

-qwertyuiop, Minnesota

There's no convincing evidence for that at this time--either that THC prevents cancer or that it kills cancer cells.

-Susan Weiss

does treatment really work or can a person go crazy agin

-fkhan, Texas

Drug and alcohol treatment do really work. Quitting using alcohol and drug abuse/addiction can be very difficult, but treatment is quite effective.If you know someone that has a drug problem, it's not always easy to know what to do. If your friend is using drugs, encourage him or her to talk to a parent or another trusted adult such as a favorite teacher or a school guidance counselor. If they don't feel comfortable doing that, they can use anonymous resources, such as SAMHSA's crisis line (1-800-273-TALK) -- they help people with lots of different problems. Or if they're ready to think about treatment, your friend can check SAMHSA's Treatment Facility Locator for programs in your area ( -- there are programs out there just for adolescents. You can also contact these resources yourself and get advice on how to help your friend.Since you've asked this question, you probably already know that right now it's really important to be a good friend -- that means finding ways to offer advice without being judgmental, showing support by listening, and finding ways to offer help when they're ready to receive it. Thanks for your question. I hope this helps.

-Joe Frascella

Does treatment really work? Are they people who quit drugs forever?


Yes to question 1! Yes to question 2! Drug treatment does work and some people are able to quit forever. There are different types of treatment. Medication can help some people with their drug problem. Behavioral treatments help people learn new skills to cope with stress and problems, deal with urges and cravings to use drugs, develop a support system of people who don't use drugs, and increase their motivation to stop using drugs. For specific information about treatment approaches, visit: For assistance locating treatment programs in your area see:

-Redonna Chandler

Does using too much pain killers kill you?

-echan, Texas

The most powerful pain killers are prescription opioids. Taking to much can cause depression in breathing, to the point where one stops breathing. Thus, yes, they can kill you, especially if used not as your doctor advised.

-Dave Thomas

does weed cause memory problems?

-Robby, Ohio

Yes. Brain scans done on teens while they're trying to perform a memory task shows that areas of the brain not usually involved in memory have to get involved to try to get the task done.

-Jim Bjork

does weed make you lose your memory

-ims722, Louisiana

Yes, it interferes with the memory areas in the brain.

-Nora Volkow

Does weed make your grades go down?

-madison, Ohio

Absolutely. Marijuana's negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days and sometimes weeks—especially if you smoke often. Someone who smokes marijuana daily may be functioning with a 'dimmed-down' brain most or all of the time. Compared with their peers who don't smoke, students who smoke marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of high school. Also, longtime marijuana users themselves report being less satisfied with their lives, experiencing memory and relationship problems, poorer mental and physical health, lower salaries, and less career success. There is all sorts of 'good to know' stuff at:

-Carol Krause