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Shifting Importance of Alcohol and Marijuana as Gateway Substances Among Serious Drug Abusers

NCJ Number
Journal of Studies on Alcohol Volume: 55 Issue: 5 Dated: (September 1994) Pages: 607-614
Date Published
8 pages
This study, based on retrospective interviews obtained through the Careers in Crack program, examines the substance use histories of 994 persons who became serious drug abusers.
Contrary to prior research, this study found that alcohol did not serve as a gateway drug to further substance use or abuse for this sample. Many respondents reported using marijuana as a first subject, and a substantial proportion of these serious drug abusers claimed never to have used alcohol. The average age at first substance use has also declined over the years. The findings suggested that marijuana's role as a gateway drug has increased; less than 10 percent of the sample reported having progressed to more serious drugs without having first used marijuana. 6 tables and 19 references

Date Published: January 1, 1994