As more states start to sway in favor of the little green plant called marijuana, scientists have continued to question whether this fragrant herb is truly as safe as some research suggests. Although it can be an effective medication for cancer and HIV/AIDS patients, marijuana still contains properties that make people susceptible for abuse and addiction (under rare circumstances). In a world that is growing fonder of this herb, people are starting to ask one big question: is marijuana really a gateway drug? After all, research does reveal how teenagers who indulge in this substance are often tempted to take part in more dangerous drugs (as well as alcohol). So, is this statement fact or fiction? Is marijuana true “gateway drug”? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Connection between Pot and other Drugs
Overall, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has formed three theories to determine why people who experiment with marijuana will move onto harder drugs.
- Marijuana use during an early age changes the reward center of the brain, increasing the appeal for more dangerous substances.
- Sometimes, marijuana users will hang out with hardcore drug users.
- Teens and young adults will use marijuana because hard drugs are more expensive.
Is Pot a Trigger?
Keep in mind that marijuana has been used for medical and recreational purpose for thousands of years (over 4,000 years to be exact), and it was first introduced to the New World in 1545 for the purpose of creating hemp fibers. Alongside alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is considered one of the most notorious of the gateway drugs, and (in all three cases) the use of these drugs at an immature age (before 20 years) can transform brain chemistry. One study conducted by researchers from the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (Columbia) determined that children who experimented with pot, alcohol, and tobacco were 266 times more likely to dab in cocaine.
Is Marijuana a Bad Part of Our Society?
Overall, we cannot give a direct answer to this question. Marijuana is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one side of the equation, the plant is used for industrial and medical purposes (both extremely helpful to manufacturers and patients). On the other side, pot can trigger drug abuse down the road. So, overall, just tread through these green, fragrant waters with caution.
Seeking Treatment for Marijuana Use Disorder
Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.