By: Tim Myers
Cigarettes are the Real Gateway Drug
People who smoke are making a conscious decision to do something that will harm them. They’re doing something that will kill them and it gives them no mood-altering conclusion. No euphoria and no high.
So, what’s to stop them from doing something else that will kill them, but gives them the greatest feeling ever? Nothing.
Nicotine is and has always been the only gateway drug.
I’m pretty sure I could just stop right here. I’m pretty sure you don’t need any deeper analysis of this then the simple, plain, punch you square in face idea that once you start using nicotine you’re more likely to use other drugs!
The logic behind this theory is so basic and so rock solid that further investigation and analysis shouldn’t be necessary. Although, I do anticipate that a small village of Virginia Slim smokers still exist in a dark ally somewhere. They’re might want to take me up on this issue before bingo starts.
So, for those of you who think nicotine isn’t a gateway drug – here are the facts:
Nicotine Use is Directly Linked to Other Drug Use
The New England Journal of Medicine stated on September 4th 2014 that, “Epidemiologic studies have shown that nicotine use is a gateway to the use of marijuana and cocaine in human populations.”
This hypothesis that nicotine is a gateway drug came from Denise Kandel. Her studies found that, in 2012, 87.9% of adults in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 34, who have used cocaine, smoked cigarettes before trying cocaine.
Only 5.7% of this group began using cigarettes and cocaine at the same time. Only 3.5% used coke first.
Let those numbers sink in for a minute.
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Focus on Preventing Nicotine Usage
The study also concluded that one of the best ways to prevent substance abuse is to focus on preventing nicotine use first and foremost. Since the stats are so overwhelmingly in favor of nicotine being the first drug initiated into the system, and leading to the use of harder drugs, the study suggests that we stop the problem at the source.
Duh. This makes too much sense.
Essentially, if Officer Crumpky and his buddies at D.A.R.E spent their time only talking to kids about the dangers of smoking, they’d have a far greater success rate of keeping the tykes off the hard stuff. D.A.R.E. actually could have worked! They had a good idea, they were just fighting the wrong enemy.
Nicotine Use Makes People More Likely to Use Other Drugs
In Science Translational Medicine, on November 2, 2011, it was reported that mice who were given nicotine for seven days were attracted to and sought out cocaine more than the mice who weren’t given nicotine.
So, the brain is actually hardwired to start looking for the next great drug once the switch has been flicked by nicotine. Science is awesome.
What Does This Study Mean for You and Me?
I’m sure Aunt Estelle will tell us that she smoked her Camels for fifty years and never once did she want, or use, cocaine. That’s great for Aunt Estelle.
I’m sure there is a kid in a halfway house smoking his vape and screaming, “I vape and I have four months sober!”
There’s probably an old-timer at a meeting smoking his Winston’s saying, “I smoke and I’ve never tried that jazz.”
Good for you guys…it works if you work it! The point is that if you do something that will kill you and doesn’t give a high, you’re probably going to do another thing that can kill you that you do get high from.
Oh, and there’s the point that 87.9% of people who used cocaine used nicotine first. Nicotine is a gateway drug. Period.