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Pot is not a gateway to heroin

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:42 AM
  • 101 Replies

Gateway to Nowhere?  The evidence that pot doesn't lead to heroin.

Heroin. Click image to expand.

Earlier this month, professor Yasmin Hurd of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine released a study showing that rats exposed to the main ingredient in marijuana during their adolescence showed a greater sensitivity to heroin as adults. The wire lit up with articles announcing confirmation for the "gateway theory"—the claim that marijuana use leads to harder drugs.

It's a theory that has long seemed to make intuitive sense, but remained unproven. The federal government's last National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted in 2004, counted about 97 million Americans who have tried marijuana, compared to 3 million who have tried heroin (166,000 had used it in the previous month). That's not much of a rush through the gateway. And a number of studies have demonstrated that your chances of becoming an addict are higher if addiction runs in your family, or if heroin is readily available in your community, or if you're a risk-taker. These factors can account for the total number of heroin addicts, which could make the gateway theory superfluous.

On close inspection, Hurd's research, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, doesn't show otherwise. For the most part, it's a blow to the gateway theory. To be sure, Hurd found that rats who got high on pot as adolescents used more heroin once they were addicted. But she found no evidence that they were more likely to become addicted than the rats in the control group who'd never been exposed to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana's main ingredient.


by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:42 AM
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Replies (1-10):
crazymommy30
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:48 AM

Thank you for posting this. It is long past time that people start to dispell the myths of marijauna being a "gateway" drug. The more people that we can educate on this subject the better.

family carAutumn

sharshar
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:48 AM

i smoked pot for a long time before my kids and never used any thing else

TrezsMom
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:52 AM

I don't know what would be a "gateway" to what, if there is such a thing. I mean, maybe in some cases, people have "warmed up" to the idea of harder drugs after trying something that wasn't as hard to begin with but you have to have a certain idea in your head to being with to do the hard drugs to begin with. Have heroin addicts say that they wanted to feel totally numbed. Have heard a lot of weed smokers say they wanted to feel "buzzed" or relaxed just a little high.That's two different ideas on things, even though neither one is cool or good.

What I do know is i have family members in NYC who are seriously addicted to heroin and my parents have had friends who have changed their lives for the best after being junkies for yr.s and that is a tremendous accomplishment and ordeal to go through. withdrawals are no joke. Junkies are desperate people looking for whatever to get to the next high and will do anything for it. Can have prominent careers and will go to the street for another high. That's some frame of mind to be in. Been around people who smoke weed regularly and those are two entirely different things. Completely. I am not for or advocating anything and am personally drug free but to me  there is no comparison between the two. I think the people who are doing heroin have a different focus and mindset than those who are habitually using marijuana.

My point is maybe some people have used "lighter" or "softer" drugs to move onto harder ones but i think that you have to be in a mindframe of some sort to use the hard drugs to begin with and that the softer drugs aren't making too much of a difference at that point.

aarkat
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 12:55 AM

i think this is very true

Quoting TrezsMom:

I don't know what would be a "gateway" to what, if there is such a thing. I mean, maybe in some cases, people have "warmed up" to the idea of harder drugs after trying something that wasn't as hard to begin with but you have to have a certain idea in your head to being with to tdo the hard drugs to begin with. Have heroin addicts say that they wanted to feel totally numbed. Have heard a lot of weed smokers say they wanted to feel "buzzed" or relaxed just a little high.That's two different ideas on things, even though neither one is cool or good.

What I do know is i have family members in NYC who are seriously addicted to heroin and my parents have had friends who have changed their lives for the best after being junkies for yr.s and that is a tremendous accomplishment and ordeal to go through. withdrawals are no joke. Junkies are desperate people looking for whatever to get to the next high and will do anything for it. That's some frame of mind to be in. Been around people who smoke weed regularly and those are two entirely different things. Completely. I am not for or advocating anything and am personally drug free but to me  there is no comparison between the two. I think the people who are doing heroin have a dfferent focus and minsdset than those who are habitually using marijuana.

My point is maybe some people hae used "lighter" or "softer" drugs to move onto harder ones but i think that you ahge to be in a mindframe of some sort to use the hard drugs to being with and that the softer drugs aren't making too much of a difference at that point.


Dzyre1115
by Desiree` on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:00 AM

I have an honest question?  This is a mother's sight.  What is the obsession to purposely inebriating oneself when you are responsible for the care of children???  Legal or illegal.  These pot posts are so disconcerting on a sight for parents.  Once you decide to have children you need move away from the comfortably numb phase of your life and grow up.

aarkat
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:08 AM

i see it as a medicine.  there are ways of benefitting from it's good while remaining a responsible parent. 

i also see it as a very viable resource that could do a lot of good for the world. 

Quoting Dzyre1115:

I have an honest question?  This is a mother's sight.  What is the obsession to purposely inebriating oneself when you are responsible for the care of children???  Legal or illegal.  These pot posts are so disconcerting on a sight for parents.  Once you decide to have children you need move away from the comfortably numb phase of your life and grow up.


crazymommy30
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:08 AM

Just because somebody has children does not mean that they cannot relax and enjoy themselves now and then. Also this post was meant to inform the people that still believe pot use leads to other drugs. The more people that are educated about the truth about marijauna use, the closer we gwet to legalization.

Quoting Dzyre1115:

I have an honest question?  This is a mother's sight.  What is the obsession to purposely inebriating oneself when you are responsible for the care of children???  Legal or illegal.  These pot posts are so disconcerting on a sight for parents.  Once you decide to have children you need move away from the comfortably numb phase of your life and grow up.


family carAutumn

TrezsMom
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:17 AM

I saw the post more as a way to discuss if someone believed that you could move to harder drugs from softer but in no way is my response to the post in any way saying that I condone drug use in any form. I can't judge you or anyone else on their own personal choices, but for me and myself and family, I choose to be drug free so I can be the most clear-headed mother i can possibly be and be ready to respond to anything at any time period. I don't say that in judgement, at all, because i really don't judge like that and won't tell you this or that because not only do i not judge like that but I also believe everyone has and makes their own way. But I say that to clarify that I wasn't trying to say in my original reponse that I was in any way condoning any drug usage. Wanted to make it clear i personally choose to be drug free. Have seen a lot of drug usage and quite frankly am afraid of it. I just wanted to state my opinion on if you could go from softer to harder drugs and what I thought about "drug gateways" and all. Thought it was an interesting topic.

Quoting crazymommy30:


Just because somebody has children does not mean that they cannot relax and enjoy themselves now and then. Also this post was meant to inform the people that still believe pot use leads to other drugs. The more people that are educated about the truth about marijauna use, the closer we gwet to legalization.

Quoting Dzyre1115:

I have an honest question?  This is a mother's sight.  What is the obsession to purposely inebriating oneself when you are responsible for the care of children???  Legal or illegal.  These pot posts are so disconcerting on a sight for parents.  Once you decide to have children you need move away from the comfortably numb phase of your life and grow up.



TSpiders17
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:39 AM

hey its Tia. Even though some will say that weed is NOT a gateway to other drugs is partially true and not true at the same time. Yes I smoke weed and enjoy it but at the same time being a drug addict Weed did lead me to other things cause I got bored of it. I smoke weed cause I am bipolar and it helps keep me "regular." Weed can give off different affects too. Like if I smoke too much I get so high I feel drunk as hell. I do think that this "drug" should be legal cause it helps so many people but for other people it can be very dangerous too. This topic can become very controversial very quickly.

 

Tia

kahmommy
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 2:00 AM

ditto..... i was a massive pot smoker and i didnt touch anything else, well my step brother conned me into doing i'm having a blonde moment but its weed with embombing fluid.... but he told me it was really good weed. go figure right?. stupid jerk.  but weed does not lead you to do other drugs unless you are carefree about them or want to do them!

Quoting sharshar:

i smoked pot for a long time before my kids and never used any thing else


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