Gateway drug theory

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Gateway drug theory is the idea that once a person uses one illegal drug, they are more likely to use other drugs. It is also called stepping-stone theory, escalation hypothesis, or progression hypothesis.

If the gateway theory is true, people who use one drug may be more likely to use other drugs because:

  • Using the first drug changed their brain
  • They have similar attitudes about using different drugs

The gateway theory helps shape education and lawmaking about drugs. Scientific study of the possible causes of the gateway theory is important for health policy.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Vanyukov MM, Tarter RE, Kirillova GP, etal (June 2012). "Common liability to addiction and "gateway hypothesis": theoretical, empirical and evolutionary perspective". Drug Alcohol Depend 123 Suppl 1: S3–17. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.12.018. PMC 3600369. PMID 22261179.