Naturally occurring genetic variation was quantified for survival time of adult Drosophila melanogaster exposed to chronic ingestion of the drugs nicotine, caffeine, dopamine, tyramine and octopamine. Responses to nicotine, tyramine and octopamine were genetically correlated in both sexes, whereas caffeine response correlated with starvation resistance. However, there is also genetic variation that is specific for each of the drugs. Females tended to be more resistant than males to nicotine and caffeine but sex-by-genotype interactions were also seen for these drugs and for the response to dopamine. An unusual and complex genetic architecture was observed in crosses between lines with different responses to caffeine ingestion. Additive and dominance components were clearly seen from the analysis of F1 individuals, but increased female resistance to caffeine in backcross generations and increased male sensitivity in F2 generations confused the interpretation of possible epistatic contributions.