A gateway drug is a substance that leads to the use of a more potent one. Marijuana has been labeled a gateway drug because people who use it often move on to use harder drugs that release a more intense feeling of euphoria. Alcohol and nicotine are also gateway drugs. Many adolescents start with alcohol and nicotine, eventually progressing to more harmful drugs.
There has been an ongoing debate on whether or not marijuana is safe. Some people think this way because when stopping marijuana use, withdrawal symptoms are manageable. Marijuana is a schedule I narcotic substance because of its effects on the brain and body. Also, the high the user gets depends on other drugs, often mixed with marijuana.
A surprisingly growing trend for some users involves using marijuana mixed with embalming fluid. The attraction to embalming fluid is becoming more popular among marijuana users looking for a new and different high. An article for ABCNews by Joann Loviglio (2018) states, “The high that users experience depends on what they’re getting. Many users who want embalming fluid often get it with phenylcyclidine (PCP) mixed in.”
A 1998 Texas Commission on Drug Abuse study said, “Effects of embalming fluid include visual and auditory hallucinations, euphoria, a feeling of invincibility, increased pain tolerance, anger, forgetfulness, and paranoia.”
Gateway drugs are usually the starting point for harder drugs. People who use marijuana are at high risk of using cocaine, heroin, or painkillers. Young teens often try marijuana and drink, resulting in an addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Adolescents are vulnerable to using drugs or drinking alcohol due to peer pressure, stress, or mental health issues. Teens often display impulsive, destructive behavior. When teens use gateway drugs such as marijuana, alcohol, or nicotine, they are at higher risk for addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Vaping is an alternative to smoking cigarettes or inhaling cigarette smoke, which is gaining popularity among teens and young adults. Vaping uses fewer chemicals but still contains nicotine, the addictive substance found in cigarettes and other ways to use tobacco. Many young people are using e-cigarettes as well. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that look like a cigarette, pipe, etc. The e-cigarettes are filled with nicotine that heats up and vaporizes.
Marijuana, alcohol, and nicotine are all addictive substances that can lead to health complications, including death. You are not alone if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction. Get help today.
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