The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently offered adolescents the first ever "Drug Facts Chat Day." Students from high schools and middle schools across the country submitted anonymous questions online—about alcohol, the brain, addiction and everything in between—to NIDA scientists, including some of the nation's top experts in substance abuse. The scientists then responded with personalized, nonjudgmental answers. Below is a sample of the inquiries that relate specifically to drugs and sex. All the questions and answers below are unedited.
Among the scientists were Nora Volkow, director of NIDA; Steve Gust, director of NIDA's international program, research and training activities; Nicolette Borek, a NIDA psychologist in the Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research who oversees research on how exposure to drugs of abuse during the prenatal period affects a baby's brain and behavioral development; Marsha Lopez, an epidemiologist at NIDA's National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse who has expertise in behavioral pharmacology, drug epidemiology, and co-occurring psychiatric conditions as they relate to drug use; Jacques Normand, who is responsible for planning, developing and coordinating all the HIV/AIDS research at NIDA; and Steve Grant, a neuroscientist who investigates cognitive processes in addiction. —Compiled by Sarah Baldauf
7 Questions Teens have about Sex and Drugs:
jwphealth - janesville high school - can drus cause stds
Nora Volkow - when you are intoxicated with drugs you are much more likely to have unprotected sex and thus increase your risk for a sexually transmitted disease including HIV. You can find information for young people, parents and teachers about the link between drug abuse and HIV infection, with links to the latest research findings and news updates at http://www.hiv.drugabuse.gov.
luvsmusic4life - portola middle school - I once saw on a show that if a kiss someone on the cheek or hug them you can't get HIV from them. Is that true?
Steve Gust - In order for HIV to be transmitted there needs to be the exchange of bodily fluid. It is not possible to spread HIV through casual contact like hugging or kissing on the cheek, as long as blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids are not shared. For more information on HIV, visit http://www.hiv.drugabuse.gov.
hi - Stjs - Why do drugs increase your likeliness of having unprotected sex?
Nicolette Borek - Drugs can increase your likelihood of having unprotected sex since drugs impact the brain circuitry associated with decision making...we sometimes say drugs can 'hijack' the circuitry. You can find information for young people, parents and teachers about the link between drug abuse and HIV infection, with links to the latest research findings and news updates at http://www.hiv.drugabuse.gov.
Jessica something 1 - Edison Jr. high - What Is Date Rape?
Marsha Lopez - Date rape is a forced, unwanted sexual contact from someone you know and/or thought you could trust. A number of drugs have been used in date rape because they can be slipped into someone's drink and have no taste or smell; some of these are ketamine, rohypnol and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).If you have experienced any sexual assault you can call a 24 hour help line for assistance 1-800-333-4444, and some more information on date rape can be found at http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/0600/0613.asp?index=4538.
nicci13 - eastern - when you do drugs do you mess up your sex life?
Jacques Normand - Drugs definitely influence your judgement and inhibition putting you at risk for sexually transmitted diseases as well as sexual violence. Please go to the following link to learn more about the relationship between drug use and HIV infection. http://WWW.HIV.drugabuse.gov
JessIca SOmeTHing - Edison Jr. High - What are Date Rape Drugs??
Marsha Lopez - A number of drugs have been used in date rape because they can be slipped into someone's drink and have no taste, smell, or color; some of these are ketamine, rohypnol and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).If you have experienced any sexual assault you can call a 24 hour help line for assistance 1-800-333-4444, and some more information on date rape can be found at http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/0600/0613.asp?index=4538.
lexiepooh714 - clay chalkville high school - how much drugs do you have to take in order for the drugs to affect your baby while you are pregnant
Steve Grant - Not much, but it depends on which drug and how early or late in pregnancy you take it. In general, the earlier in pregnancy you take a drug, and the longer you keep taking drugs the more your baby will be affected. Alcohol is particularly harmful and opioid drugs (heroin, oxycotin and other prescription pain killers) might lead your baby to have withdrawal symptoms after birth. To learn more, check out "The Science of Addiction" at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction. For more information on alcohol abuse, go to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism at http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/