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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can you get high offcaffeine?

-SOS_Lucky, Maryland

Hey SOS_Lucky: You sure can get high off of caffeine! Even though it is legal,
c
affeine is addictive, and withdrawal symptoms include headache, dizziness, and shaking. Some people feel the effects of caffeine faster than others. If your body doesn't break down caffeine fast, too much of it can cause heart palpitations, and
people with heart trouble should steer clear of caffeine. For more information, see:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002579.htm. You probably know that some sodas have
caffeine, others have sugar, and many have both. A component of addiction is that the person affected hasirresistibleurges that make it difficult for them to moderate intake of common substances, like food and soda. What do you think?

-Joni Rutter

Can you get HIV/AIDS from sharing needles?

-joshm69, Maryland

Hello there. Very good and important question. Sharing needles and risky sex are the two main ways that HIV is spread because these actions expose you to bodily fluids that may be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV shuts down your immune system and causes the disease called autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) if you do not get and maintain treatment. To learn more about how drug abuse puts you at risk for getting HIV, go to: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/hiv-aids-and-drug-abuse

-Jacqueline Lloyd

can you get pregnat from drugs??

-emendez, Texas

Hi Sugar Land Middle School. Interesting question! Nope, taking a drug can't make you pregnant -- basic biology. But, while under the influence of illegal drugs and some legal drugs, such as alcohol, the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior increases and this could result in pregnancy as well as put you in a potential rape situation. So, if you think about it like that, then yes, taking drugs may increase your chance of becoming pregnant.

-Cora Lee Wetherington

Can you get put in jail for doing marijuana?

-947986, Maryland

Hello 947986! Thanks for your question. The recreational use and possession of marijuana remains illegal in all states for adolescents. You could be put in jail for this and it would depend on several variables (the state you are, what amount you had, if you've done this before).

-Bethany Deeds

Can you give an approximation of the number of people who don't get caught dealing with drugs?

-Heisenburg, Maryland

Hi Heisenburg, you're all over this chat! Nope, I can't give you that approximation, not even sure how I would know such a number. But I could go ahead and guess that most people who deal drugs eventually get caught. Thanks for asking though, keep 'em coming!

-Marsha Lopez

Can you name a few ways about how Meth is bad for you?

-Coby1, Georgia

Methamphetamine increases wakefulness and physical activity, produces rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure and body temperature. Long-term use can lead to mood disturbances, violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and awful dental problems, aka 'meth mouth.' For more niformation on meth, see: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/methamphetamine.

-Dave Thomas

Can you obtain HIV/AIDS by kissing someone who doesn't have the disease

-Jade, Arizona

Jade- HIV is transmitted by sexual contact or sharing infected needles with someone infected with HIV.

-Jack Stein

can you OD on an inhaler?

-Zach H, Maryland

The short answer is yes but it rarely happens. Deaths from asthma are relatively rare, less than 5000 per year in the US (for comparison, the population of the US is about 330 million people). Whether the use of an inhaler contributes to those deaths has to do with which drug(s) are actually in the inhaler. Inhalers that used long-acting beta-adrenergic agonists were more likely to be problemmatic than those that used used other medications, but overall, the number of deaths is low. People on inhalers should follow their doctor's instructions carefully, and they should be safe and ok. If you have questions about your inhaler, call your doctor's office and ask.

-Nancy Pilotte

can you od on pain relevers

-trealbert, Oklahoma

yes. especially mixed with alcohol. In fact, more people die from prescription painkiller overdose than from heroin and cocaine combined!

-Jen Katt

can you get addicted to Viagra or any other sex drug?

-Zach H, Maryland

not Viagra per se, but some people can be addicted to sex and have sexual urges, behaviors, or thoughts that appear extreme in frequency or feel out of one's control— which may require treatment. Some drugs such as alcohol can increase the likelihood of engaging in risky behavior such as unprotected sex, which can lead to a lot of serous unintended consequences. Most drugs impair your good judgement and you are more likely to engage in unsafe or dangerous sex while you are under the influence.

-David Shurtleff

can you get addicted to vitamins like you can with other drugs or painkillers?

-mikeh101, Texas

I do not think you can get addicted to vitamins like other drugs or painkillers, but you can overdose on vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A is bad if you take too much of it.

-Marilyn Huestis

Can you get aids from drugs or alcohol?

-pound cake, North Carolina

Not directly. But people who are drunk or high increase their risk of making poor decisions, because their judgment is altered by drugs. Bad decisions can include engaging in risky sex, which could lead to HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases.

-Jen Katt

can you get aids from smoking?

-aash, New Hampshire

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS and it is transmitted through blood--so probably not.

-Susan Weiss

Can you get any diseases from DNA?

-jnguyen, Texas

Hmmmmm....it's an interesting question. it's true that you can inherit diseases from your parents. Here's an example Huntington's disease is caused by a genetic defect that, if passed on, causes a person's offspring (their child) to be affected. That means that Huntington's Disease is 100% genetic. Inheritance, in the form of genes, plays a large role in drug addiction also. Research shows that drug addiction is about 50% heritable. BUT.....while genes play a big role, they are only part of the picture. Other factors, like having friends who don't use drugs, or being involved in sports and other recreational activities, also affect your risk of trying drugs and of becoming addicted to them. Researchers are trying to find the genes that make you vulnerable or resistant to addiction, in order to find ways to improve treatment and prevention approaches. Want more information on genes, addiction and teens? Check out: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/real-teens-ask-addiction-hereditary/ Get accurate drug facts to make healthy decisions for your brain and body! http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/science-addiction http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse

-Joni Rutter

Can you get cancer from tobacco and other drugs?

-HShagoury, New Hampshire

yes, but tobacco is the number one

-Nora Volkow

can you get drunk off of beer

-jadams, Texas

Yes, you sure can.

-Shuly Babitz

Can you get drunk off of vanilla extract?

-Ghetto Urinal, Pennsylvania

The FDA requires that real vanilla extract be no less than 35 percent alcohol by volume, about 70 proof, so while theoretically possible, we strongly recommend using it solely for baked goods.

-Shuly Babitz

can you get high off caffeine?

-SOS_Lucky, Maryland

Hey SOS_Lucky: You sure can get high off of caffeine! Even though it is legal, caffeine is addictive, and withdrawal symptoms include headache, dizziness, and shaking. Some people feel the effects of caffeine faster than others. If your body doesn't break down caffeine fast, too much of it can cause heart palpitations, and people with heart trouble should steer clear of caffeine. For more information, see: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002579.htm. You probably know that some sodas have caffeine, others have sugar, and many have both. A component of addiction is that the person affected has irresistible urges that make it difficult for them to moderate intake of common substances, like food and soda. What do you think?

-Joni Rutter

Does marijuana really help with helth problems?

-Matt, Utah

It can. Scientists are making use of their knowledge about the potentially healthful properties of some of marijuana's ingredients (and the body systems that they effect) in order to develop new medications (generally in pill form) for a variety of symptoms and diseases, including pain, obesity, and addiction. It's not likely that smoked marijuana will be developed as a medication because of its negative health effects, including the risk of addiction. See http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine for more.

-Jen Katt

Does MDMA feel like drinking coffee?

-woodlandms, Illinois

No, not really. Coffee is a stimulant mainly from the caffeine, but ecstasy is quite different and much more potent a psychoactive drug. Here are some facts about ecstasy: It is known for its energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from physical experiences. The effect, per use, lasts from three to four hours. Its popularity grew in the late 1980s in the rave and club scenes and on college campuses because of its reputation for producing high energy and a 'trusting and opened' effect among those who take it.Some of the hazards: Ecstasy produces problems similar to those found among amphetamine and cocaine users. This can include:Psychological problems Confusion Depression Sleep problems Drug craving Severe anxiety Paranoia Hope this helps and for more information, check out: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/mdma-ecstasy.

-Joe Frascella

does medication get more poeple dum like chemical reaction because i dont understand it as i take it and i really think i dont need it? from isaiah

-mrwoods, Texas

Are you taking about ADHD medications? For people who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, these medications can really be helpful to them in terms of aiding their focus in school, for example. For people without ADHD, stimulants don't make you 'dumb' necessarily--they are likely not to have much of an effect unless you abuse them, which can make you feel agitated ('jumpy'), or make your heart beat fast.

-Jen Katt

Does meth affect your body differently between different people's ages?

-Isabella c, Colorado

Hey Isabella c. You are very perceptive. Yes, people who begin using drugs like meth as young teens are at greater risk of becoming addicted compared to those who begin drug use as an adult due because the teenage brain is still growing, like the rest of you! The part of the brain that controls impulses is not fully formed in teenagers. No matter what age you are, all drugs of abuse are bad for your body! Get accurate facts to make healthy decisions for your brain and body! For more information on specific drugs go to: www.drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/health.html. Keep up the good work IMS412kg and 'Just Say Know!'

-Joni Rutter

Does meth cause heart problems?

-Sydney a, Colorado

It does not actually CAUSE heart problems, but it can make existing problems worse. Your heart is normally stimulated by chemicals called catecholamine that come from nerve endings near your heart. The action of these chemicals is stopped when proteins on these nerve endings take the catecholalmine back up into the nerves. When people take methamphetamine, this drug not only causes the release of catecholamines, but also prevents them from being taken up again. When there are too many molecules of catecholamines around, your heart continues to try to respond in its normal way--it speeds up with more catecholamines. And then it is overloaded, and it stops. If you have other heart problems, like arrhythmias, you need fewer catecholamines to make it work, and too many catecholamines can be fatal.

-Nancy Pilotte

does mj kill muslces?

-pwilliams, Texas

not to my knowledge, unless you get lazy and just hang out on the couch all day not using them.

-Susan Weiss

Does one drug have the same affect on different people?

-IMS412kg, Louisiana

HI IMS412kg, GREAT question! You might think that the same drug has the same affect on different people, but that's not the case. Each person has individual differences that impact how they respond to a drug. People are different, and addiction has many sides to it that make a person more or less likely to become addicted to a drug, such as genetics (e.g., genes that metabolize drugs can be different across people), environment (e.g., drug availability; parents using drugs/tobacco/alcohol) and development (e.g., age--the younger you are when you try a drug, the more likely you are to abuse it), all of which play important and changing roles in determining how a person becomes addicted. No matter what, all drugs of abuse are bad for your body! Get accurate facts to make healthy decisions for your brain and body! For more information on specific drugs go to: www.drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/health.html. Keep up the good work IMS412kg and 'Just Say Know!'

-Joni Rutter

Does PCP harm you?

-IMS602ea, Louisiana

PCP is a synthetic drug sold as tablets, capsules, or white or colored powder. It can be snorted, smoked, or eaten. Developed in the 1950s as an IV anesthetic, PCP was never approved for human use because of problems during clinical studies, including intensely negative psychological effects. PCP is a 'dissociative' drug, distorting perceptions of sight and sound and producing feelings of detachment. Users can experience several unpleasant psychological effects, with symptoms mimicking schizophrenia (delusions, hallucinations, disordered thinking, extreme anxiety). Among the adverse psychological effects reported are: Symptoms that mimic schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking, and a sensation of distance from one’s environment. Mood disturbances: Approximately 50 percent of individuals brought to emergency rooms because of PCP-induced problems—related to use within the past 48 hours—report significant elevations in anxiety symptoms. People who have abused PCP for long periods of time have reported memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, and weight loss. These symptoms can persist up to one year after stopping PCP abuse. Addiction: PCP is addictive—its repeated abuse can lead to craving and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior, despite severe adverse consequences. What Other Adverse Effects Do Hallucinogens Have on Health? Unpleasant adverse effects as a result of the use of hallucinogens are not uncommon. These may be due to the large number of psychoactive ingredients in any single source of hallucinogen. At low-to-moderate doses, physiological effects of PCP include a slight increase in breathing rate and a pronounced rise in blood pressure and pulse rate. Breathing becomes shallow; flushing and profuse sweating, generalized numbness of the extremities, and loss of muscular coordination may occur.At high doses, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration drop. This may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes, drooling, loss of balance, and dizziness. PCP abusers are often brought to emergency rooms because of overdose or because of the drug’s severe untoward psychological effects. While intoxicated, PCP abusers may become violent or suicidal and are therefore dangerous to themselves and others. High doses of PCP can also cause seizures, coma, and death (though death more often results from accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication). Because PCP can also have sedative effects, interactions with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can also lead to coma. For more information go to: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/pcpphencyclidine. Hope this helps.

-Joe Frascella

does PCP have any long term affects?

-jstarling, Texas

'Burnout' is the chief complaint on the street. People don't think as clearly as they once did. Severe memory loss has been reported. Also depression and suicidal thoughts.

-Dave White

Does popping a molly make you sweat?

-ColtonS, Texas

Yes, one of the adverse or bad effects of 'molly' ecstasy is sweating, chills, nausea, muscle cramping, and dehydration. For more info on Ecstasy and other related drugs, see: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse/what-are-effects-mdma.

-Joe Frascella

Does pot effect your brain?

-Mrw, Texas

'THC', tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active molecule in marijuana. This molecule is very similar in shape to a set of molecules that naturally float around in the brain. These molecules fit into 'receptors' on brain cells, like a key into a lock. While THC can make people feel high, it has a downside too. A part of the base of the brain called the hippocampus, which helps form memories and remember them, has a very large number or concentration of these 'locks'-- this means that when people smoke pot, they're especially disrupting this region of the brain, and therefore memory. THC also causes changes in the brain's gray matter. When pot users try to perform a memory task while their brain is getting scanned, it shows that they have to use different and more parts of the brain to get the task done, as though their stoned brains need to work harder. Some of these problems can get better when people stop using.

-Dave White

Even if you use one type of drug is it too late get help and get it fixed

-lakers202, Illinois

No, it is never too late! You can check out available treatment resources in your community (some are available just for adolescents) at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/. If you are in crisis, you can call 1-800-273-TALK to talk to a professional who can help. Good luck!

-Michelle Leff