When someone mentions gateway drugs, they’re talking about certain habit-forming substances resulting in dependency and addiction. These substances have the potential to lead individuals to use other, more dangerous substances. Whether you’re suffering from an addiction to gateway drugs or harder substances, there is help and hope available. The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® specializes in women’s drug addiction treatment. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to reach out today to find the help you deserve. Contact us at 855.773.0614 to speak with a trained representative.
3 Gateway Drugs to Be Cautious Of
Substances referred to as “gateway drugs” can be, but are not always, habit-forming. In some instances, long-term use of gateway drugs has the potential to lead to substance abuse issues or drug problems.
Gateway drugs are sometimes referred to as “soft drugs.” It may not be as easy to form a physical or physiological dependence on these substances. In addition, they tend to be less damaging to the body, the mind, and a person’s overall lifestyle when used in moderation. The big fear is that using these substances may create a false impression that other more addictive and more habit-forming drugs are safer than they are.
Because it is legal, most people don’t realize that alcohol can be a destructive force in people’s lives. People may use alcohol as a social lubricant or to self-medicate for stress, depression, or anxiety. Statistics and studies make it extremely clear that alcohol can be highly addictive and detrimental to a person’s mind, body, and soul. For instance, the symptoms of alcohol use may include:
- Heart damage
- Slowed cognitive processes
- Behavioral changes
- Changes in coordination
Today, there’s an ongoing debate about whether marijuana is a gateway drug or harmless. There is some evidence for both sides, and each person has unique challenges. Some people are able to use it a single time, while others quickly can become addicted to this substance. In some cases, marijuana use can cause people to assume that all drugs are harmless.
Most teenagers have some level of awareness that tobacco is not healthy. Cigarette use has declined in the United States in recent decades. Tobacco companies can still find new customers, and they developed vaping as a way to find a new audience for an old product. Vaping became a national concern in recent years as a new wave of users became extremely ill in a short period. Unfortunately, the amount of nicotine used in vaping products can be far more than in a typical cigarette.
Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances we know of and is notoriously difficult to quit. It’s very common to see those who have stopped using hard drugs like opiates to smoke as a coping mechanism. You can make the argument that it is the lesser of two evils in that situation. Nicotine, and the other unhealthy chemicals in cigarettes and vaping products, are typically less deadly than other hard drugs. A person can live for many years as a smoker without facing severe consequences. That being said, aside from being a gateway drug, products that continue nicotine are by no means harmless.
Contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® to Support Your Recovery
Are you concerned that someone you care about is tempting fate by using gateway drugs and may end up on a path to using hard drugs? If so, we encourage you to reach out to The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® for more information about early intervention. Early intervention is often the best possible scenario as you can turn someone’s life around before they get heavily sucked into the cycle of abuse. Reach out to the professionals at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® today at 855.773.0614 to discuss your concerns about gateway drug use.