If you routinely use marijuana, or if you know someone who does, it is likely you have wondered “Is marijuana a gateway drug?” Marijuana has recently become widely accepted and legalized in many states. As such, it is more available than ever before, and with that availability comes an increased likelihood of abuse. Because of this, there is always worry that an escalation into harder drugs could become a problem. While unlikely to directly lead to severe drug abuse or to other drugs considered more dangerous, marijuana does bring individuals into contact with drug culture. To learn the answer to “Is marijuana a gateway drug?”, read below.
Is Marijuana A Gateway Drug?
There is some speculation about whether marijuana use leads to harder drug use. Those who use marijuana on a regular basis for medicinal or recreational use are more likely to turn to harder drugs than someone who has never tried any drugs at all in the past. Those who use marijuana along with alcohol, are at greater risk of becoming dependent on using them in tandem. Using marijuana regularly also can lead to nicotine addiction.
The use of alcohol, marijuana, or nicotine can “prime” the brain to become responsive to other drugs. Therefore, each of these substances can be thought of as “gateway” drugs, however, there are other factors that come into play. A person’s environment and those they spend time with make a difference in whether they use harder drugs or not. Not all people who use marijuana use other drugs. Outside influences come into play, making the question, “Is marijuana a gateway drug” a bit hard to answer definitively.
What Are The Risks Of Marijuana Use?
Marijuana use may seem not to have risks as it usually puts someone in a mellow or jovial mood. People who use it medicinally do so for its relaxation and pain-minimizing properties. There are, however, risks associated with routine use. These include:
- Altered perception of time
- Heightened or altered senses
- Impairment of memory
- Problem-solving difficulties
- Mood changes
- Body movement impairment
- Increased heart rate
- Breathing troubles
- Severe nausea or vomiting after long durations of time of marijuana use
- Delusions, hallucinations, or psychosis with high-potency marijuana usage
Some of these risks may be slight at first, but intensify over time or if more marijuana is used. If the effects of marijuana do not seem to be enough for a user, they may turn toward harder drugs in the future. Also, individuals frequently turn to drugs like marijuana to alleviate some underlying mental health issues like depression or anxiety. This kind of self-medicating is dangerous behavior and can lead to more serious issues.
Where Is Addiction Treatment Available?
Recovery Ranch PA offers treatment to clients suffering from addiction, including addiction to marijuana or another drug. If you believe you are in need of assistance to get on the road to recovery, we are here to help. Our treatment programs include the following:
- Drug and Alcohol Detoxification Centers
- Inpatient Drug And Alcohol Rehabilitation
- Family Programs
- Outpatient Treatment
- Aftercare Programs
- Alumni Program
We have a professional staff available to provide clients with care the entire step of the way to recovery. Our services are available to both men and women over the age of eighteen, seeking help to a better lifestyle. In addition, Recovery Ranch PA offers the following therapy programs to help with drug addiction recovery:
- 12-Step Program
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
- Evidence-Based Therapy Program
- Nutrition Therapy Program
If you or someone you know uses marijuana, and you believe it has led to the using of harder drugs, treatment is available. Contact Recovery Ranch PA at 717.969.9126. The road to recovery from marijuana addiction starts with your phone call.