Study Questions Gateway Theory of Drug Abuse

Study Questions Gateway Theory of Drug Abuse
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2007 at 13:05:54 PT
By Reuters
Source: Reuters 
New York -- A new study suggests that a tendency toward delinquency or living in a neighborhood where drugs are readily available are just as important in determining whether a young person will abuse marijuana as whether or not he tries cigarettes or alcohol first.The findings call into question the "gateway" hypothesis - that is, that youths at risk of drug abuse progress from using alcohol and cigarettes to illegal "soft" drugs like marijuana to "hard" drugs like cocaine and heroin, Dr. Ralph E. Tarter of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and colleagues write in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Instead, Tarter and his team say their findings support the common liability model, which proposes that factors such as behavioral deviancy and "genetic risk" can predispose a person to abusing any type of drug, illegal or otherwise.Based on this model, they note, the best way to protect kids from becoming drug abusers is to cope with conduct problems early, before the vulnerable adolescent years.Tarter and associates followed 224 boys from about age 10 to 12 until they reached the age of 22. Ninety-nine of the boys only smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol, 97 used these "legal drugs" before trying marijuana, and 28 tried pot before taking up drinking and smoking.The boys who had followed the traditional "gateway" path were no more likely to develop alcohol or marijuana abuse problems than those who went in the reverse direction, the researchers found.Living in a poor-quality neighborhood was the single factor that predisposed youths to marijuana use. For youths who did conform to the gateway path, delinquency was more important than previous legal drug use in determining whether they would wind up using marijuana.Based on this and other research, Tarter and his colleagues write, "in effect, the greater the deviancy, the more likely an individual is to use an illegal drug. These findings underscore the need to prevent conduct problems in early childhood to diminish the risk of later illicit drug use."Source: American Journal of Psychiatry, December 2006.Source: Reuters (Wire)Published: January 15, 2007Copyright: 2007 Reuters LimitedCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on January 15, 2007 at 16:24:00 PT
Well then, if...
Living in a poor-quality neighborhood was the single factor that predisposed youths to marijuana use.Then how do you explain all the pot smokers living in high-quality neighborhoods? Was there a study to determine if living in a "high" quality neighborhood "predisposed" Rich youths to marijuana use? I doubt it. And they can afford the good stuff and more of it. I have smoked with some very rich people in my life, and they didn't start their life out in a "poor-qualify" 'hood. In fact, they shared their cannabis a lot of times when us poor-quality 'hood children didn't have any. That's pretty amazing that anyone would think your childhood neighborhood, poor- or high-quality would determine your "predisposition" to use cannabis. Or any drug. Wow. But I keep forgetting rich kids can take drugs legally. All they have to do is pay a lawyer. Their underclass suppliers go to jail. It's the high-quality neighborhood kids that buy from the poor-quality neighborhood kids. Yep, it's the poor-neighborhood kid's fault that the rich neighborhood kids are predisposed to marijuana use, and the poor neighborhood kids, too!Instead of blaming Human Nature, let's just blame the poor folks, instead. I mean they're so poooooor..... Toke. 
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Comment #2 posted by user123 on January 15, 2007 at 14:39:48 PT:
Get on With It
"Living in a poor-quality neighborhood was the single factor that predisposed youths to marijuana use."That it! Lets declare a War on Poverty!! Oh wait, we already did that back in the 60's. How's that working out anyway? About as well as the War on some Drugs I'd say.Can't run a gov't without an enemy.
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on January 15, 2007 at 13:34:47 PT
It starts here
The next prohibition? 
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