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Can drugs in general cause physical and self-control diseases such as anorexia and bullimia?

-Andrew, Ohio

We don't know of evidence linking drug use to anorexia or bulimia.

-Nora Volkow

can drugs kill people?

-Sweetheart101, Virginia

Yes. Cocaine and stimulants can increase heart rate and blood pressure to cause heart attacks and strokes. Heroin and alcohol (and especially a combination of the two) can cause the brain to stop telling the chest to breathe, and people die from overdose for that reason.Finally, driving while intoxicated kills a LOT of people, as another example of how drugs kill.

-Jim Bjork

Can drugs kill sperm cells and vaginal areas?

-leapfrog33, Pennsylvania

Drugs can definitely affect sperm cells and the uterus. They can reduce fertility and affect hormones that are important for reproduction, and certainly affect the ability of sperm to travel, but I don't remember reading that they actually kill the cells. Drugs can still disrupt normal function even if cells aren't killed. Drugs never have one effect, in almost all cases they affect normal function as well. It is important to consider all effects when making an informed decision about using drugs or not. Thanks for your question!

-Marilyn Huestis

can drugs kill u or can they make u go mental

-AliciaT, California

Yes, drugs can be very dangerous and can result in significant negative medical and health consequences, and also can result in death. As for affecting your mental health, certainly drugs are capable of producing psychological, psychiatric and neurologic problems such as psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks, seizures.For more information on the effects of drugs, check out 'Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - The Science of Addiction' at http://www.drugabuse.gov/scienceofaddiction/. Additional resources can be found on NIDA's website, www.drugabuse.gov.

-Joe Frascella

Can drugs make you a schitzophrnic while messing up your mind in the process?

-cramirez, Texas

This is a very controversial question. These drugs are often called psychotomimetic because they produce effects that seem similar to psychotic disorders, such as delusional thinking or sensory distortions. However, further studies found that the effects of these drugs are different in many ways from pscychotic disorders. But what is most dangerous about these drugs is that the effects are unpredictable. Some people have severe adverse reactions when they take these drugs, even if they had taken them before and not had a problem. These experiences can be so terrifying to some people that they can be haunted by them for a long time.

-Steve Grant

Can drugs make you smart or is there even a drug that makes you a little more intellegent?

-popkenblake, Iowa

Thanks, such a great question!there are indeed drugs that can help you focus, pay more attention, or study for longer periods of time. These types of drugs are called cognitive enhancers, but no drug that I know of that will make you smarter or more intelligent.Hope this helps

-Ruben Baler

can extasy harm you besides that its addicting

-cameron, Ohio

Yes, because some research shows that it can damage serotonin neurons in the brain. These neurons help control emotions and a sense of well-being. Using ecstasy increases risk for depression later, even after a person stops using. Some other research on regular users suggest that they have memory problems.

-Jim Bjork

can hand sanitizer get you high?

-smartinez, Illinois

Yes, because it contains ethyl alcohol, the kind of alcohol in alcoholic beverages. However, it can also make a person extremely sick due to the other ingredients in it. That's why the instructions make clear that hand sanitizer is for external use only.

-Aaron White

can heroin kill you

-julian, Texas

Yes, by suppressing the part of your brain that tells your chest to breathe. Even if a person doesn't overdose and die, recent data using brain scans of long-time users shows that heroin actually shrinks parts of your brain-- especially the gray matter! It also can effect the white matter in the brain that connects cells together, though the white matter might recover a bit once people stop using. In addition, the brain gets used to the molecules, and makes adjustments, that might require more and more heroin over time to get the same high. A great risk can be the other junk in street heroin besides the heroin itself. Sharing dirty needles is an EXTREME risk to get HIV and AIDS.

-Jim Bjork

can i smoke everyday and still live?

-pandas, Maryland

Yes, if you are talking about cigarettes, but probably not nearly as long. Even if lung cancer doesn't kill you prematurely, the increased chance of heart disease will.

-Jim Bjork

can inhalants kill you?

-jen5858, Maryland

Inhalants can cause brain problems at least from what we can tell-- such as by how people who huff show problems in their thinking. This suggest that brain cells are at least being changed and messed with. In fact, huffing (inhaling household products and other chemicals on purpose) is one of the more dangerous 'drugs' in terms of the mental problems it causes while people are doing it. It can also target other body organs and yes, can even kill outright. This is also a problem for people who work in industries with chemicals in the air, who are exposed all the time.See this webpage for more information on inhalants: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/?s=sharpie.

-Jim Bjork

Can it be hereditary for a drinking or drug problem?

-IMS706, Louisiana

Yes, genetics plays an important role in vulnerability to addiction

-Nora Volkow

Can large amounts of serotonin lead to schizophrenia?

-acynicalchicken, Pennsylvania

hi acynicalchicken: This is a good but complicated question: We don't really know all of the causes of schizophrenia. What we do know is that there are probably many contributing factors, including biological factors (including genetic factors, brain chemistry and functioning) and environmental influences, some that operate very early in life, that together lead to risk for schizophrenia. Scientists think that an imbalance in the complex, interrelated chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia. Neurotransmitters are substances that allow brain cells to communicate with each other. Current theories do not point to serotonin specifically, but scientists are learning more about brain chemistry and its link to schizophrenia. The most commonly used antidepressant medications involve serotonin (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs), since the serotonin system is part of current theories of depression. But taking SSRIs correctly, such as when they are prescribed for depression and/or anxiety, has not been found to lead to schizophrenia.for more information about shcizophrenia and possible causes....for more information about antidepressant treatments....

-Joel Sherrill

can lsd kill you?

-emendoza, Texas

You bet. You can overdose, or it can cause you to do something stupid that could get you killed. It has unpredictable psychological effects. People can experience delusions and visual hallucinations that can be frightening. In fact, 'bad trips' can include terrifying thoughts and nightmarish feelings of anxiety and despair that include fears of insanity, death, or losing control. For more information about LSD, visit NIDA's website at www.nida.nih.gov/DrugPages/ACIDLSD.html. end content

-Joni Rutter

Can many of the prescription drugs kill you?

-J Nguyen, Texas

Most of the prescription opioids can. They are strong pain killers, but the can also kill you if you take too much or in a way they are not suppose to be taken. Always follow your doctor's instructions!

-Dave Thomas

can marihuana kill you ?

-jamie22, Ohio

Marijuana overdose is really unlikely--you're more likely to fall asleep before you can ingest enough marijuana. However, marijuana contributes to lethality in other ways--including car crashes--approximately 14% of people in fatal crashes test positive for marijuana (sometimes in combination with other drugs). In particular, marijuana and alcohol together are worse than either one alone with respect to auto accidents! And MJ can be addicting--about 9% of users, 1 in 6 of those who start young, and 25-50% of daily users become addicted. Smoking marjuana can also increase a person's risk of developing respiratory infections, chronic coughing and more. Want more information about marijuana? Click on: http://www.nida.nih.gov/DrugPages/Marijuana.html

-David Shurtleff

Can marijuana affect pregnancy?

-yamomma, Maine

hi yamommathanks for the question!Animal research suggests that the body's endocannabinoid system plays a role in the control of brain maturation, particularly in the development of emotional responses. It is conceivable that even low concentrations of THC, when administered during pregnancy, could have profound and long-lasting consequences for both brain and behavior. Research has shown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies display altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness, and a high-pitched cry, which could indicate problems with neurological development. In school, marijuana-exposed children are more likely to show gaps in problem solving skills, memory, and the ability to remain attentive. But this type of research is very difficult to interpret because it is never perfectly controlled. Thus, more research is needed to disentangle the drug-specific factors from the environmental ones.Hope this helpsAll the best to you.

-Ruben Baler

Can marijuana be put in a drink and have the same effects?

-harry.h, Texas

Ingesting marijuana still produces a 'high' as with smoking. However, it takes longer to get into your system and since you don't know how much you're getting, it could ultimately be more dangerous and cause more paranoia and psychosis, as some emergency room reports have indicated.

-Dave White

can marijuana have medical use?

-adison_s, Pennsylvania

The FDA, which approves all therapeutic drugs in the US has not approved marijuana for the treatment of any disease or condition. That's because it hasn't been proven safe and effective in carefully controlled studies with patients. Marijuana is not likely to become a medicine for several reasons--its a plant that contains many chemicals (over 400), some with unknown health effects; the ingredients vary from plant to plant--medicines need to be able to have precisely controlled ingredients--so doctors know how much to prescribe and side effects can be prevented; marijuana's effects on your ability to think and remember make it not ideal; and finally, anything thats smoked is bad for the lungs. Scientists are however interested in some of marijuana's ingredients that may have possibilities as medicines but with less risks than marijuana itself. See http://www.drugabuse.gov/MarijBroch/teens/.

-Christine Colvis

Can Marijuna effect your memory?

-eigwe, Texas

It definitely can! Marijuana use impairs a person's ability to form new memories and to shift focus. THC a known psychoactive ingredient in MJ causes memory impairment by altering how information is processed in the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation, THC also disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia—parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time. Therefore, learning, doing complicated tasks, participating in athletics, and driving are also affected. Research has shown that marijuana's negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off. So, unfortunately, someone who smokes marijuana daily may be functioning at a reduced intellectual level most or all of the time. Not surprisingly, evidence suggests that, compared with their nonsmoking peers, students who smoke marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of high school. MJ use is associated consistently with reduced educational attainment (e.g., grades and chances of graduating).

-David Shurtleff

can markers make you high?

-nakoma225, Iowa

Yes, they are considered inhalants and make you high in a way similar to alcohol.

-Nora Volkow

can mountain dew be a form of

-big_dawg30, Arkansas

hi.intriguing question, i wonder why you ask.mountain dew is mountain dewsteroids are steroidsno overlap between the two whatsoever

-Ruben Baler

can mountain dew be a form of steroids?

-big_dawg30, Arkansas

hi.intriguing question, i wonder why you ask.mountain dew is mountain dewsteroids are steroidsno overlap between the two whatsoever.

-Ruben Baler

'Bath salts' have just been banned for a year in the United States. What can these chemicals do to the human body and brain?

-shannonl, Ohio

Good question.Unfortunately people are ingesting bath salts searching for a high, but many are finding serious consequences! Bath salts contain chemicals similar to ectascy, amphetamine and cocaine, which are associated with bad side effects like dangerously elevated blood pressure and heart rates, there have been reports of people becoming so agitated that their muscles started to break down, releasing chemicals that led to kidney failure. So, while it seems like bath salts woudn't pose any harm, used in the wrong way, it can be seriously dangerous stuff!

-David Shurtleff

1. What is the percentage of people who overdose on drugs per month? 2. Can prescription drugs cause hallucinations? 3. What percentage of teens use prescription drugs?

-koster, Iowa

Over a thousand people die each month in the US from prescrition pain killer overdoses. Halucinations are rare from prescription opioids. NIDA puts out a publication that answers a lot of questions about teen drug use. Check it out! http://monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2010.pdf

-Dave Thomas

a good place to begin is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Web site, www.samhsa.gov

-substance abuse prevention and treatment,

Web site, www.samhsa.gov.

-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s

a lot of people need mental help right?

-cnunez, Texas

hi cnunez: It's true: mental disorders are pretty common, and over their lifetime, many people struggle with these problems and need help. In fact, mental illnesses are not as rare of some people think. About 20% of youth will have at least one type of mental illness in their lifetime. But the good news is that we have good treatments for the mental health problems that affect children, teens, and adults. Depending on the person and the problem, these treatments can include specific talk therapies (psychotherapies), medications, or a combination of treatments. So when someone is struggling, it's important for them to talk to a professional as early as possible to get help. Mental illnesses are real and can be treated. They are not often something a person can just snap out of. Some people do not get help because they are embarrassed or afraid to. However, getting help for mental issues is really no different than seeking help for a medical condition like diabetes. If you or someone you know needs help go to http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/getting-help-locate-services/index.shtml for information on who to talk to and how to find help in your area. Also see: http://www.whatadifference.samhsa.gov/support.asp?nav=nav02_0&content=2_0_support

-Joel Sherrill

A question was asked 'Is

-ImNotAPanda, Pennsylvania

Yes, for teenagers, even moderate consumption of alcohol appears to be harmful. Research shows that having alcohol during the teen years increases the odds of becoming an alcoholic at some point in life. This happens even if you drink at home with your parents. In fact, research in Europe, the US and Australia indicates that teens who are allowed to drink at home even while being supervised by parents are more likely to binge drink (drink enough over about 2 hours to get very drunk) outside of the home. It isn't clear how much alcohol is needed to directly damage the brain during the teen years, but it is probably more than the amount of alcohol considered to be moderate for adults (no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 for men). Even if the brain is spared from being damaged by moderate consumption during the teen years, the risk of becoming an alcoholic is increased significantly

-Aaron White

A question was asked 'Is Alcohol Bad For You.' and your responce didnt fully explain everything. Does alcohol bad for you even in moderation?

-ImNotAPanda, Pennsylvania

Yes, for teenagers, even moderate consumption of alcohol appears to be harmful. Research shows that having alcohol during the teen years increases the odds of becoming an alcoholic at some point in life. This happens even if you drink at home with your parents. In fact, research in Europe, the US and Australia indicates that teens who are allowed to drink at home even while being supervised by parents are more likely to binge drink (drink enough over about 2 hours to get very drunk) outside of the home. It isn't clear how much alcohol is needed to directly damage the brain during the teen years, but it is probably more than the amount of alcohol considered to be moderate for adults (no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 for men). Even if the brain is spared from being damaged by moderate consumption during the teen years, the risk of becoming an alcoholic is increased significantly.

-Aaron White

About how long does it take to quit and recover from using drugs?

-cthompson, Pennsylvania

It depends on what they are addicted to. If marijuana users quit, it's often in their twenties after starting in their teens (so 10+ years to get around to quitting). Older age and marriage are predictive of quitting. But plenty of people remain addicted or frequent users of marijuana into older adulthood. Very few seek formal treatment. Stimulant and heroin users quit later and often heroin users remain on methadone (a treatment medication) or go back to using heroin. It can be a lifelong battle. Technically, it takes only one day to quit cold turkey, but fixing all the damage to relationships, employment history, and educational history can take a very long time and in some cases be insurmountable. Some people remain in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) type groups their entire lives or cycle through patterns of recovery and relapse. Most people who quit drugs do it without formal treatment but these people usually have less severe and shorter use histories.

-Jim Bjork

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