Web Hunt: Questions About Drugs, Answers from Science

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Every day, teens are bombarded with messages about drugs and drug abuse through music, movies, TV, the Internet, and their friends. How can you find out what’s true and what’s not? In the Web hunt below, discover facts from the scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the leading supporter of research on drug abuse and addiction in the United States.

This handy sheet will help you keep track of what you learn about the facts of drug abuse and addiction:
Drug Facts Web Hunt Sheet (PDF) 

  1. Some people are more likely than others to become addicted to drugs. What are some of the factors that contribute to a person’s risk of becoming addicted to drugs?
  2. Why are teens particularly vulnerable to becoming addicted to drugs?
  3. What is the relationship between brain development during adolescence and heightened risk-taking?
  4. What is the chemical found in a cigarette that makes it so addictive, and how does this chemical affect the brain?
  5. A teen researcher showed that carnivorous animals in the desert will avoid dead bodies that contain what toxic drug?
  6. Two other teen researchers used fruit flies to show the effects of “third-hand smoke.”  What did the teens find?
  7. What are some of the health risks associated with abusing prescription drugs?
  8. Some people mistakenly think that people can’t get addicted to marijuana. What is the addictive chemical in marijuana, and what are some of its other harmful effects?
  9. What are some of the dangers of mixing alcohol with drugs?
  10. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, and there are many different types of treatments. But stories of celebrities returning to “rehab” again and again are often in the news. What are some reasons people go back to using drugs after having gone through treatment?
  11. What are some reliable sources you can consult if you have questions about drugs?


Bonus Questions:

  1. What naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain is released in powerful amounts to produce a “high” when drugs are abused
  2. What are some signs that might tell you if someone has a drug problem?



Find out more facts at these NIDA sites:

NIDA InfoFacts
Find fact sheets about different drugs, drug abuse, and treatment.

Drug Facts Chat Day
Check out transcripts of scientists answering questions from teens all over the country.

NIDA for Teens
Includes facts about drugs and drug abuse, along with games and real-life stories.

Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body
Developed with NIDA and Scholastic, this series brings the latest scientific news about drugs, drug addiction, and your health.