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 people put drugs in liquid

-chance, Illinois

in some cases depends on the drug and its chemical composition.

-Gaya Dowling

can people smoke marijuana at 16 years old?

-niilane, Maryland

Good question, niilane. They can, but teens are much more vulnerable to the harmful effects of drugs because the brain continues to develop and grow through the age of 25.  You only have one brain, don't mess it up. Check out this video: Development of the Young Brain:

-Joni Rutter

can poppy seeds show positive on a drug test

-kholderness, Michigan

you'd  have to eat a lot of them to get a positive effect, but its possible.  

-Susan Weiss

can smelling cigarette smoke affect your body in a bad way?

-ShefBoyRD, Maryland

Hey your spaghetti!  Yes, inhaling the smoke produced by a smoker (second hand smoke) can have bad effects.  That smoke still contains all the same harmful chemicals as the smoke that the smoker is inhaling.  In fatc, over time, exposure to second hand smoke can result in higher risk of disease and death. For more info, and to take a fun quiz, go to

-Cindy Miner

can smoking kill you

-kennedi2015, Georgia

Hi kennedi2015 - thanks for the question.  Yes!  Cigarette smoking kills over 480,000 people every year.  Most adults who smoke try to quit every year and find they cannot.  And most smokers started smoking before age 18.  Kids are very sensitive to the addictive properties of nicotine, so the best defense is to never start smoking.  Check out these NIDA resources for more information on tobacco/smoking - and

-Kevin Walton

can smoking kill you

-Denayzha, Georgia

Yes, 443,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking:

-Maureen Boyle

Can smoking pot damage your lungs?

-Little Bill, Michigan

Hi Little Bill – YES Smoke from marijuana irritates the lungs, causing breathing and lung problems among regular users similar to those experienced by people who smoke tobacco—like a daily cough and a greater risk for lung infections such as pneumonia. Research has not found a strong association between marijuana and lung cancer, but many people who smoke marijuana also smoke cigarettes, which do cause cancer. 

-Susan Weiss

Can smoking weed cause lung cancer

-Nicole, Michigan
Hey Nicole- Marijuana can have harmful effects on the brain and lungs, but we don't know if it causes cancer like smoking cigarettes.  Here's what we do know about marijuana:
  • Many of the carcinogens and co-carcinogens present in tobacco smoke are also present in smoke from marijuana.
  • Marijuana smoking does cause inflammation and cell damage, and it has been associated with pre-cancerous changes in lung tissue.
  • ​Marijuana has been shown to cause immune system dysfunction, possibly predisposing individuals to cancer

Bottom line: Though marijuana most likely pales in cancer risk when compared to cigarette smoking, it's better to play it safe. 

-Joni Rutter

can smoking weed help with ADHD sypmtoms?

-Fallout, Michigan

There are NO studies to support this, although some doctors are recommending it anyway.  It may help with the anxiety associated with ADHD, but certainly not any the problems with attention, focus or cognition.  plus kids with ADHD are at higher risk of developing problems with addiction--so this seems like a really bad idea.

-Susan Weiss

can smoking weed lead you to feeling rebellious?

-kearsarge, New Hampshire

Hi kearsarge,
No, probably the opposite, because weed tends to sap a person's motivation, for instance to do defiant and rebellious things; it also distorts judgment, possibly causing users to think the things they are already doing are more rebellious than they really are. 
Great question!

-Eric Wargo

can sniffing hand sanitizer really make you high

-jdavis0923, Maryland

Hi jdavis0923,
You probably won't get high from sniffing it, but some kids try to get high by drinking it, because it contains a lot of alcohol. It's actually dangerous because the alcohol is pretty concentrated. Definitely do not try!

-Eric Wargo

can sniffing natural products like glue give you and instant rush and if so will it really damage your body

-kirito sao, Georgia

Hi kirito sao - What’s clear is that when you inhale toxic chemicals like those in markers, paint thinner, or computer duster, it messes with your brain’s wiring and signals, so you feel almost drunk or dizzy for a while—but if you keep doing it, you can have pretty scary side effects. These chemicals can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, bad mood swings, and headaches. In the long term, toxic fumes can take the place of oxygen in the blood, leading to hypoxia (low oxygen pressure in the body), which can damage your brain and other organs or even kill you. In fact, even one hit of a toxic substance can stop your heart, aka “Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome”—a tragedy that too many teens and parents have experienced. 

-Michelle Rankin

Can someone answer where the chat starts and ends on the scroll...I see questions and answers coming from the top and bottom?

-mjacoby, Ohio

Hi Mjacoby - the most recent answers are at the top!

-Michelle Rankin

can someone get addicted my living with someone who smokes

-cassidyb, Texas

Hi Cassidyb, there are scientific studies showing that kids of smokers are more likely to become smokers.  And the longer they are exposed, the more likely this may occur.  In addition, non-smokers who live with smokers are exposed to second-hand smoke, the smoke that comes off the cigarette itself and the exhaled smoke from the smoker (this is called second hand smoke).  This exposes the non-smoker to nicotine and many of the harmful chemicals found in smoke and can harm the health of the non-smoker. Did you know that over 41,000 people die each year from second hand smoke exposure?  Having the family member quit smoking would always be the best choice for the health of the entire family, and there are a lot resources available to help people who want to quit.  Information about smoking and prevention can be found at

-Kevin Walton

Can steroids be dangerous to one's health?

-atessier, New Hampshire

Yup.  Anabolic steroid use can lead to aggression and other psychiatric problems as well as impair your kidney; damage your liver; and cause cardiovascular problems leading to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack (even in young people). For other health effects, see  Good question, atessier!

-Nancy Pilotte

Can steroids make me more powerful???

-Kim Jong Un, Maryland

Steroids can strengthen your muscles so it will make you stronger if you work out.  The problem is that they do not strengthen your heart muscle and this unbalance can result in heart failure when someone on steroids is invovled in intense physical activity

-Nora Volkow

Can taking more painkillers than the bottle prescribes hurt me?

-glenelg21, Maryland

YES!!!   ABSOLUTELY!  Taking just a pill or two extra in some cases is enough.   And it happens a lot.  About 17,000 Americans die each year from opioid overdoses.   Be careful with opioids and NEVER take more than prescribed.   If you have bad pain, get help from your doctor.  You can even get help from your pharmacist.

For more info see:


-Dave Thomas

Can the chemicals used to raise yields in marijuana have a different effect on the brain than if it were just grown organically?

-Juan Figueroa, California

Hola Juan
probably no, the critical think that affects the potency or brain effects of marijuana is the concentration of THC that is achieved in the plant.
good luck to you.

-Ruben Baler

Can the fumes from melting fabrics harm thought processes?

-glenelg24, Maryland

Hi glen, 
the fumes of anything, at high enough concentration, can and will affect your brain, your thinking process, and even threaten your life.


-Ruben Baler

Can the mary jane be healthy

-Hoopla, Maryland

Hi Hoopla,
No, probably not. There's no positive long-term effect on the brain, and no evidence it actually cures or prevents most diseases. The question is how bad is it for you. If you're a teen, using regularly is definitely bad. 

-Eric Wargo

can the smell of cigarette smoke on someone's clothes harm you?

-ShefBoyRD, Maryland

Hey again, ShefBoyRd - So this is a little different question than your last one.  It's hard to say if smelling a tobacco odor on someone's clothes can harm you.  What you are smelling is a smoke residue -- something called "thirdhand smoke".   Not much is known about the risk of third hand exposure, there are some studies kids living in homes where smokers live do have some risky exposure from the smoke residue on the walls, furniture etc. The odors on clothes will get washed out, limiting your exposure.   Harm from smelling gym socks... well, that's another story!!

-Cindy Miner

can the smell of meth get you high?

-RaoK, Texas

Hi RaoK - I have a question for you: Does the smell of dinner on the table make you full?  

-Joni Rutter

Can tobacco be swallowed?

-chance, Illinois

Hi chance. Yes, there are some forms of tobacco that can be swallowed. You can learn more about the dangers of tobacco and nicotine at

-Ish Amarreh

can tobacco give you cancer

-lionsadv, Texas

Just standing next to it won't give you cancer...using tobacco-containing products such as smokeless tobacco and cigarettes can. Also, secondhand smoke can also cause cancer.  Read up on the effects of smoking at

-Kevin Walton

can u be affected by people that smoke around u

-seahawks boss 1, Georgia

 That’s a great question…I think you are referring to secondhand smoke. A second hand smoker is often someone who lives with a smoker and inhales the smoke from the burning cigarette or from the smoke exhaled from the smoker.  It might also be a non-smoker who works in a place that allows smoking.  The effects of second-hand smoke can be serious. Children who are exposed to second hand smoke are more likely to have respiratory problems like coughing or infections like pneumonia. This incidence of sudden infant death syndrome is also higher. Adult second hand smokers are more likely to have cardiovascular effects, with over 30,000 deaths due to heart disease. If you or someone you live with is a smoker and would like information about quitting, check out

-Kevin Walton

can u die from mary jane

-cashy, Maryland

Hi Cashy,

It's highly unlikely that someone would die just from using marijuana.  It does raise the risk for heart attacks and for some people they can have a psychotic reaction, which can then cause them to do something to harm themselves (or others).  But mostly, marijuana distorts your perception and so its when people drive while under the influence that they risk death.  Stay safe!

-Lis Davis

can u die from reefer

-Yaya Toure, Michigan

Great question Yaya Toure. It depends on the dose. Most people who take it experience problems in these brain activities:

  • Learning and memory. 
  • Coordination.
  • Judgment.

Since THC affects areas of the frontal cortex involved in decision making, using it can cause you to do things you might not do when you are not under the influence of drugs—such as engaging in risky sexual behavior, which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV, the virus that causes AIDS—or getting in a car with someone who’s been drinking or is high on marijuana.

Also, decision making, concentration, and memory can suffer for days after use, especially in regular users.

-Antonello Bonci

Can u die if u get high???

-Pedro C., Texas

Yes, most drugs can cause overdose and death if taken in high enough quantities.

-Maureen Boyle

Can u do crazy stuff when ur high???

-Pedro C., Texas

hi Pedro
that's a fact.

-Ruben Baler

can u get high off markers

-Jimmy G Buckets, Illinois

Yes, but you need a lot of them. They are a type of volatile solvent inhalant--solvents are liquids that become a gas at room temperature.  And if you have that many, they may cause liver and kidney damage or changes to heart muscle depending on the solvent that is used in the markers. For more information on inhalants, see

-Nancy Pilotte