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 and eventually progress to more harmful drugs.

There has been ongoing debate on whether or not marijuana is safe. Some people think this way because when stopping marijuana use, withdrawal symptoms are manageable. Actually, marijuana is a schedule one narcotic substance because of the effects it has on the brain and body. Also, the high the user gets depends on other drugs that are often mixed in 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 really getting. Many users who want embalming fluid often get it with phenylcyclidine (PCP) mixed in.”

A 1998 study by the Texas Commission on Drug Abuse 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 to 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.

An alternative to smoking cigarettes or inhaling cigarette smoke is called vaping, 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 a liquid, containing nicotine that heats up and vaporizes.

Marijuana, alcohol, and nicotine are all addictive substances that can lead to health complications including death. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, you are not alone. Get help today.

Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204

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