According to the study, smoking and drinking can raise the likelihood of using additional drugs.
It’s simply a short step from smoking or drinking to marijuana, according to studies.
“Legal alcohol and tobacco usage has been shown to enhance the use of illegal drugs. However, the relationships are complicated,” said Dr. Zoe Reed, a researcher.
Reed is a senior research associate at the University of Bristol’s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group in the United Kingdom.
The findings of a “gateway effect” were published in the journal Addiction this week, with the use of several substances also linked to the commencement of smoking.
Using marijuana, on the other hand, may lead to the smoking of cigarettes. According to the experts, opiate addiction can lead to binge drinking.
The study authors speculated that there could be a bidirectional association between tobacco and marijuana, with cause and effect going both ways.
Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption frequently precedes the usage of other drugs.
According to the researchers, shared risk factors – such as a genetic propensity to substance abuse – could be at the root of these connections.
“While it appears that consuming one drug increases the use of another, it is also possible that people have underlying risk factors that enhance their likelihood of consuming both alcohol and cigarettes as well as illicit drugs,” Reed stated in a journal news release.
“Tobacco and alcohol inflict huge harm to society, and these findings indicate that they may also boost the use of other drugs,” said Hazel Cheeseman, deputy chief executive of Britain’s Action on Smoking and Health, in response to the study.
According to Cheeseman, governments tend to take separate methods to decreasing the harm caused by legal and illegal substances. She believes that this study demonstrates the need of examining the overlap between addictions.
Visit the Addiction Education Society for additional information on gateway drugs.
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