One keyword phrase that people often associate with addiction is “gateway drug.” Despite most people knowing this phrase, not many people actually know what it means. To understand how it relates to addiction, it’s important for people to fully understand its meaning. They also need to know the myths about these types of drugs.

What Is a Gateway Drug?

man has headache from using a gateway drug

A gateway or soft drug is one that may lead to using other, more dangerous or hard drugs. Many gateway drugs aren’t habit-forming themselves. However, continuing to use these drugs can lead to using drugs that are habit-forming. Despite that, some of them are habit-forming.

The theory behind soft drugs is that using them can lead to people using hard drugs. Countless studies have concluded that the link is real. This correlation is why it’s so important to teach teens about the dangers of habit-forming drugs.

Common Habit-Forming Drugs

There are many gateway drugs out there, but some are more common than others. The three most popular drugs that fall into this category include:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Nicotine

Except for marijuana, these drugs are available for purchase at many stores. However, marijuana is legal in several states throughout the country. The growing acceptance of these drugs diminishes their threat and makes young adults think that it’s okay to use them.

Myth: These Types of Drugs Aren’t a Problem for Everyone

One myth is that a gateway drug won’t be a problem for all people. Individuals reach this conclusion because some people can use these drugs without developing an addiction to hard drugs. However, soft drugs can act as a gateway to hard drugs for anyone. Some people are just at a greater risk for developing an addiction.

Experts have found that certain factors determine who’s more at risk for developing an addiction. One factor to consider is genetics. If addiction runs in a family, then its members are more at risk for developing an addiction.

Social standing and environment also play a role in the development of addiction. Environment includes home life and school life. The friends that people keep and hang out with may also contribute to the development of an addiction.

The biggest determining factor, however, is if a person has other mental disorders. Studies show that mental disorders are likely to come in pairs. Once the brain develops a disorder, it’s more susceptible to other disorders. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other personality disorders are more at risk of developing a drug addiction.

Take Your Life Back With the Help of 1st Step Behavioral Health

Drug addiction can ruin your life. In some cases, it can end your life. That’s why it’s so important to seek help at a rehab center that understands addiction.

1st Step Behavioral Health helps people overcome addiction by providing tools to ensure that they don’t fall victim to relapse. Drug treatment programs at 1st Step Behavioral Health include:

Talk therapy is an important component of addiction recovery. Getting to the root cause of your addiction and identifying your triggers can help you stay sober longer. Additionally, family therapy helps those you love to learn more about addiction and what it means. Finding the right mix of talk therapy is a pivotal point in your fight against addiction.

Take your life back with the help of 1st Step Behavioral Health. Call 866-319-6126 for addiction help or to learn more about our programs and facility.