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Alcohol as a Gateway Drug: A Study of US 12th Graders

Alcohol as a Gateway Drug: A Study of US 12th Graders

  1. catseye
    TRISTAN KIRBY, MPH, ADAM E. BARRY, PhD

    Journal of School Health
    2012; 82: pp. 371-379


    BACKGROUND:
    The Gateway Drug Theory suggests that licit drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol, serve as a ‘‘gateway’’
    toward the use of other, illicit drugs. However, there remains some discrepancy regarding which drug—alcohol, tobacco, or even marijuana—serves as the initial ‘‘gateway’’ drug subsequently leading to the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
    The purpose of this investigation was to determine which drug (alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana) was the actual ‘‘gateway’’ drug leading to additional substance use among a nationally representative sample of high school seniors.