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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Does weed make your teeth yellow?

-madison, Ohio

Yes, it could just like smoking cigarettes yellows one's teeth. Note that smoking marijuana is bad for the lungs, and the plant contains more than 400 chemicals with unknown health effects that vary from one plant to the other. Please see the following link for more information on marijuana

-Joe Frascella

Does weed really have chemicals?

-candelario.v, Texas

yes, lots of them. THC--tetrahydrocannabinol--is the one that is most well known because its the main chemical that gives marijuana its effects on mood and memory, etc. But there are other cannabinoids also found in marijuana and other chemicals that have not been identified or studied for their health effects. Different plants have different amounts of these chemicals.

-Susan Weiss

does your brain gets smaller when you use drugs?


Certain parts of it, yes. A more serious issue is that drugs mess up how parts of the brain communicate with each other for best effectiveness at thinking. Alcohol especially shrinks the brain as drinkers age into older adulthood.

-Jim Bjork


-rsyzdek, Texas

Yes, they are very harmful since they dissolve the myelin in neurons, which is necessary for neurons to communicate with one another

-Nora Volkow

Dose inhalants effect your brain?

-rsyzdek, Texas

Yes, they are very harmful since they dissolve the myelin in neurons, which is necessary for neurons to communicate with one another.

-Nora Volkow

dose sports help you live

-40009091, Maryland

Absolutely. Physical exercise is one of the easiest and most beneficial natural highs.Regular exercise is known to release endorphins, which can trigger this natural feeling of well being and also BDNF in the brain, a molecule that has been shown to protect your brain.good question!!

-Ruben Baler

Can you go blind by drinking?

-Saparicio, Texas

That does not often happen from drinking normal beverage alcohol, also known as ethyl alcohol. However, if one accidently consumed methyl alcohol, also known as 'wood' alcohol, blindness can result.

-Aaron White

can you grind up

-rileymcd, Minnesota

why would you want to? that can only be bad

-Susan Weiss

can you grind up marijuana and inject it into your bloodstream?

-rileymcd, Minnesota

why would you want to? that can only be bad.

-Susan Weiss

can you have a negative affect on a drug on the first try

-MasterOfAwesome, Maryland

Hi Rockville High!Some find it hard to believe, but yes - a person can definitely experience really bad effects (like adverse reactions, overdose or death) the first time they use drugs. The effects of drugs on the body can be unpredictable- not everyone reacts the same to a drug, and some can experience negative effects. For a drug like LSD, for example, it's an hallucinogen that can cause profound distortions in perception of reality. Under the influence of LSD people can see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist!. It can also produce rapid, intense emotional swings and result in fear and anxiety, which can be terrifying to people! Another example is cocaine, which can cause increase heart rate, which for some vulnerable people could lead to cardiac arrest. You may not be old enough to remember this, but Len Bias was an All-American b-baller from University of Maryland, and a #1 draft pick for the Boston Celtics a few years back. Len went out celebrating with his friends one night, took cocaine, had a heart attack and died. All that potential down the drain. I'm not trying to scare you here...just giving you the facts. Do me a favor, if you are thinking about trying drugs, go talk to a trusted adults first. Also, learn more about the effects of drugs and addiction by clicking on our teen site:!

-David Shurtleff

Can you hurt your body by taking aderol?

-spunky12, Maryland

Adderall is a stimulant often prescribed for ADHD. It can be very helpful for kids who have been diagnosed with attention issues in school. Because it is a stimulant, it can sometimes cause a 'buzz' and some kids think it can make you alert or get you 'high.' However, like all prescription medications, you should only take Adderall if a doctor prescribes it for you. Only a doctor knows how much your body can tolerate and what is safe for you. Thanks for asking such a smart question!

-Carol Krause

can you lose loss of memory when you take

-dsalinas, Texas

Yes, in the short-term, marijuana has been shown to cause memory loss and problems with learning. See more

-Ruben Baler

can you lose loss of memory when you take marijuana

-dsalinas, Texas

Yes, in the short-term, marijuana has been shown to cause memory loss and problems with learning. See for more.

-Ruben Baler

can you lose part of your brain the first time you use pot?and if so,how much?

-JDistler, New Hampshire

no, you can't lose any part of your brain the first time you use pot.

-Ruben Baler

Can you mix different kinds of drugs to get high faster?

-keegan, Ohio

Well, you can mix some drugs together that will result in the two being more potent than either alone. For example a combination of cocaine and heroin can be more potent and have more negative effects than either used along. The 'slang' term for this combination of drugs is known as 'Speedball.' There are big problems with this combo...namely addiction, overdose and death. Does the name Chris Farley mean anything to ya? Not trying to be preachy, but just trying to emphasize that chasing a 'faster high' can be really dangerous and lead to a 'fast death'.

-David Shurtleff

can you or someone with you save your life if you OD?

-chenoahsmall, Vermont

chenoahsmall, if you've overdosed, the chances of being able to save your own life are slim, since you'll likely be incapacitated. Whether a friend can save you or not, will depend on what you've taken and how much. You should never put yourself in this situation and avoid taking/experimenting with drugs.An overdose is a medical emergency. Every moment counts. If you ever encounter someone who has overdosed, call for help immediately! Check to see if they are breathing, and if not, start giving them CPR (only if you know how).

-Dave White

can you over dose on bath salts?

-jc$$, Minnesota

If you mean the 'bath salts' that people buy to get high, the answer is yes you can overdose, and it can be fatal. These 'bath salts' are chemically similar to amphetamine, and have all the adverse effects that stimulants like amphetamine have, such as increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, since these chemicals are not legal and not regulated by the FDA, you really don't know what are in the chemicals you are taking - that is taking a big risk.

-Steve Grant

can you over dose on pain killers??

-adison_s, Pennsylvania

Yes. Absolutely! High doses can cause severe respiratory depression. This risk increases when central nervous system (CNS) depressants are combined with other medications or alcohol. Abuse of opioids (prescription pain-killers), alone or in combination with alcohol or other drugs, can dangerously slow down respiration and lead to death. Overdose is a major concern: the number of fatal poisonings involving prescription pain relievers has more than tripled since 1999.

-Kris Bough

can you overdose on steriods

-alex, Ohio

Good question, Alex. Steroids can have negative or adverse effects and you can become addicted or dependent on steroids, but people don't really overdose on steroids. It doesn't affect your respiratory system to stop breathing and doesn't cause your heart to stop beating. But it can really affect the way in which your body functions. Thanks for asking!

-Marilyn Huestis

can you please answer this qustion in the next 5 minutes/how can people die from getting drunk

-Jvarughese, Texas

That can be hard to predict exactly. In general, a blood alcohol level above 0.30% is considered potentially fatal. Here's an example: In the last month, several teenagers, mostly college students, died from alcohol poisoning with blood alcohol levels around 0.35%. For a healthy, 140 pound female, reaching this level would require around 10 drinks in a 2 hour period, or around 13 drinks in 2 hours for a 160 pound male. It is important to point out than having any alcohol at all can increase the chances of dying from injuries, such as falls, drownings or car crashes. If you drink enough alcohol, it can shut down parts of the brain that are important for keeping us alive. If those areas are shut down, the heart can stop beating and we can stop breathing. In essence, it's like alcohol flips a switch and shuts the body off.Here are some of the factors that influence how fast people get drunk: How much alcohol they drink and how fast they drink it Whether there is food in the stomach to slow how quickly alcohol gets into the body How much they weigh Whether they are male or female -- females tend to be affected more by alcohol than males Getting drunk faster also makes drinking more dangerous. Drinking quickly can turn off the brain's memory centers and cause 'blackouts', or an inability to remember what you did while drinking. Getting drunk faster can make it more likely that the vital centers in the brain will be shut off.

-Aaron White

can you put

-doug r, Ohio

Hmm. Well, you can probably put many things in peaches, including cinnamon and sugar, or even chicken soup...but why would you want to? As far as heroin is concerned, it would be ineffective if you eat it

-Nancy Pilotte

can you put heroin in peaches

-doug r, Ohio

Hmm. Well, you can probably put many things in peaches, including cinnamon and sugar, or even chicken soup...but why would you want to? As far as heroin is concerned, it would be ineffective if you eat it.

-Nancy Pilotte

can you run faster when you are high on cocain?

-cesarnajera, Oklahoma

I doubt it, although it is possible that someone on any stimulant drug might be able to run farther.

-Ruben Baler

Can you slap the drug addict out of them?

-J Nguyen, Texas

Well, our treatment system would be a lot less expensive if slapping worked, but we don't have any evidence that it would succeed as a long-term strategy! Recovery from drug addiction is a complex process -- NIDA scientists have spent years researching medications as well as behavioral (counseling) strategies that work for people with drug addiction problems. To learn more about science-based drug abuse treatment, check out our publication, 'Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment,' at

-Lori Ducharme

can you smoke

-lthors, Massachusetts

No. The heat would cause the alcohol to vaporize and burn off

-Aaron White

can you smoke alcohol

-lthors, Massachusetts

No. The heat would cause the alcohol to vaporize and burn off.

-Aaron White

can you stop doing drugs without help from family friends, or doctors?

-chenoahsmall, Vermont

Some people quit using drugs without treatment - but I'm not sure they are able to do it successfully without the help from family or friends. For a person addicted to drugs it is extremely difficult to quit. Research indicates that the support of family, friends, and treatment are extremely important. Here is a website about treatment approaches: Another helpful website is: For more information on drug treatment see:

-Redonna Chandler

Can you swim well when your high, or would you just drown like when your wasted?

-GradyW, Indiana

Just had a similar question about driving, and the answer is simple...if you are high, your abilities to drive, swim, or do other activities that require concentration and some physical effort, being high can negatively affect your behavior and performance. For more general information on the science of addiction check out this link: this helps.

-Joe Frascella

can you tell if someone is addicted to drugs?

-hlgesel, New York

Hi Hlgesel! Thanks for your question. Drug addiction has a lot of symptoms -- or signs that someone has a problem with drugs. Some common symptoms include losing control over drug use, getting into trouble because of drug use, doing poorly at school or work, using more and more of a drug to get 'high', and giving up activities (like sports, hanging out with family) because of drug use. Essentially, drug use becomes more and more important to a drug addict -- more important than other things in life. For more information on how drugs affect your brain go to .

-Kevin Conway

Can your mental health be affected with drugs and cigarettes or because of depression? Are there any other reasons why people kill themselves? Which affect is the worst?

-jum, Texas

hi: This is a really good but really tough question! Drug use and mental health problems can definitely be related, but the relationship is complicated. It is a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg question. Sometimes people use drugs when they are experiencing mental health problems in an attempt to feel better, but often use of unprescribed drugs leads to more problems, such as depression. If someone who isn't already having mental health problems starts to use drugs, the drug use can lead to problems (for example, problems at school, and in relationships with parents, family, and or friends), and these stresses can than affect their mental health. Getting high can also lead to using other drugs; and drug use in general affects your brain functioning. Sometimes, effects such as memory problems can be lasting. We don't know everything we need to know about why people become suicidal, but we do know that mental illnesses such as depression or PTSD and alcohol or other drug-use disorders can increase the risk for suicide, so it is important to get help and stick with a treatment plan. Suicide is often an impulsive act, and use of alcohol and drugs can make people act more impulsively. And at the time that a suicidal person is feeling at their worst, their focus might be on ending their suffering without considering how final suicide is and how many friends and family members would be affected. They may not realize that they can feel better with treatment. Suicide is preventable. For more information about suicide prevention, resources and where to find help in your area, check out these links: and and

-Joel Sherrill