Gateway to Addiction: A Look at Marijuana

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For years, marijuana has been called a gateway drug for its perceived propensity to lead users into harder drug use. Rarely will you find a heroin addict who has never abused marijuana, and rarely will you find hard drugs without weed nearby. But is there a scientific link between using marijuana and inevitably falling into heroin, cocaine, or another addiction?

Study after study fails to draw any direct correlation between marijuana, cigarette, or alcohol use and the use of heroin or other hard drugs. However, research does show on the whole, heroin abusers begin abusing marijuana in early adolescence, which eventually led to their current addiction to heroin. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control, people who are addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin. In addition, the presence of marijuana in social circles inevitably leads to easier access to other drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and more.

As marijuana legalization progresses in the US, this issue only continues to become more and more complicated. The increased acceptance and availability of marijuana for medicinal purposes only further confuses the issue of addiction and its role in preparing the way for abuse of hard drugs. The key here is education—of our youth, of the purpose of medicinal weed, and the dangers that come with drug use—despite what culture is saying is acceptable.

If you or a loved one are struggling with marijuana abuse and want to break free from the cycle of addiction before it gets worse, call one of our trained treatment specialists today at (888) 507-1355 for a free assessment and access to more information about this topic. It is never too late to say no, and to take back control of your life.

“Take control of your habits. Take control of your life.”