Gateway drugs are substances that are easily accessible, have widespread popularity in society, and can lead to further issues with abuse and addiction. For example, it is extremely uncommon for a person to use meth or heroin as their very first experience with drugs. In most cases, they would already be experimenting with gateway drugs that pave the way to harder drug use. The most common gateway drugs are alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine.
The Dangers of Alcohol
Wine, beer, and spirits rank among the most widely ingested beverages in today’s society. However, alcohol also has addictive qualities and a high potential for abuse. It is also one of the most pervasive gateway drugs.
Studies have found that alcohol use is correlated with the use of marijuana, opiates, and stimulants. For instance, according to the Journal of Scholastic Health, students who drank alcohol were more than 15 times more likely to use marijuana and other illicit substances.
Marijuana Abuse and Addiction
For people who already have tendencies toward addiction and substance abuse, in particular, the use of marijuana can be dangerous. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use is associated with the abuse of cocaine, meth, and alcohol.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also stated that individuals with marijuana addictions are three times more likely to have heroin addictions, as well. Warning signs related to marijuana addiction include proximity to users of heavier drugs and the acceptance of marijuana by a peer group.
Nicotine as a Gateway Drug
Nicotine, a chemical most commonly found in cigarettes, is another one of the classic gateway drugs. Some smokers consider cigarettes as benign as coffee or tea. However, people who smoke cigarettes are already familiar with the sensation of using a drug to feel different or feel better. For many people who struggle with addiction, it is an easy jump from smoking cigarettes at a social gathering to trying harder drugs such as cocaine or meth.
Help With Gateway Drugs
Of course, if the use of gateway drugs has led to an addiction problem for you or a loved one, a certified treatment center and detox facility can help. At Melrose Recovery Group in Los Angeles, we offer a wealth of drug addiction treatment services, including:
- Addiction aftercare
- Evidence based therapies
- Physical fitness therapies
- Relapse prevention
- Insurance verification assistance
At Melrose Recovery Group, we are working to change lives. Equally important, we treat all of our residents with respect and dignity. If you are struggling with an addiction problem, we are there to help you regain your life and live up to your fullest potential. We view our residents as individuals and specifically design personalized treatment plans to maximize their efficacy. The ultimate goal is to repair relationships and build a better future.
Tim Storey Dream Academy
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Melrose Recovery is the Tim Storey Dream Academy. Led by Tim Storey, a world-renowned life coach and motivational speaker, the program encourages residents to embrace their dreams as they imagine a better life. Specifically, Tim uses humor and his ability to connect with people to help them heal.
Finally, don’t allow the scourge of substance abuse to take over your life. The programs offered at a leading rehabilitation center can help you beat addiction and live the life you desire. Call us at 866-271-3438, and we will be pleased to help you get started on the way to sobriety.