The NIDA Blog Team April 25, How much do you really know about why people become addicted to drugs, whether marijuana can be medicine, and what causes a hangover? This year, NIDA scientists answered more than 1, questions from teens and others about drug and alcohol use. Great question, and a hard one. Many scientists are trying to untangle the answers so that we can find better ways to prevent and treat addiction.
See these videos on how anyone can become addicted, and why drugs are so hard to quit. Read more on what increases the risk of having a drug problem. What can cause a hangover? There are several reasons why people experience hangovers from drinking.
One component is dehydration. Alcohol causes the body to get rid of too much fluid, and the dehydration that results can cause headaches, nausea, thirst, and other symptoms of hangovers. While some people think that alcohol helps a person sleep, it actually disrupts sleep, and that can contribute to the grogginess that accompanies hangovers.
What properties in drugs make them addicting? Once a person uses a drug repeatedly, their brain starts to adjust to these surges of dopamine; the brain cells neurons make fewer dopamine receptors, or they simply produce less dopamine. Learn more about how drugs affect your brain and body. Does marijuana use lead to the use of other drugs? For example, the risk of using cocaine is much greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it. However, this risk is also greater for people who have used alcohol and tobacco.
In addition, using marijuana puts children and teens in contact with people who use and sell other drugs, increasing the risk of additional drug use. Is medical marijuana good for you? The marijuana plant has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of any medical condition.
A pill form of THC the main chemical in marijuana that affects the brain is already available for certain conditions, such as nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and weight loss in patients with AIDS. Early research suggests that some of the active ingredients in marijuana, like THC and cannabidiol CBD , might be able to help treat conditions and diseases like epilepsy, cancer, or addiction.
However, smoked marijuana is unlikely to be an ideal medication because of its negative health effects, including the risk of addiction and the damage that smoking can do to your lungs.
Can drugs affect animals? Chemicals can have different effects in different animals—for instance, chocolate is delicious to humans and poisonous to dogs—so even small amounts of a drug could be very harmful for your pet.
In dogs and cats poisoned by marijuana , signs may be seen within 3 hours, such as a lack of energy, low heart rate, low blood pressure, respiratory depression, hyperactivity, seizures, vomiting, and coma. How can I help someone if they are on drugs? One of the best things you can do for a friend with a serious drug problem is let them know you are there to support them.
You can also help by being a strong positive influence; help them get involved in non-drug-using activities like joining a club, playing music, or playing a sport. However, if your friend is becoming a negative influence in your life, you might have to step away from the friendship for a while. Are video games more addictive than drugs? But they do act on some of the same systems in the brain as addictive drugs.
For instance, they produce bursts of dopamine described in answer 3 above , and some people think that playing video games a lot might cause problems similar to drug use, such as being unable to get satisfaction from other things in life. Like what you see?
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