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The Gateway Theory Essay

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There has been controversial theories developed to define whether “Gateway” theory is the single hypothesis to explain drug phenomena and solution for increased drug issues. “Gateway” theory depicts pattern of drug use which has a sequence started from legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco to partially legalized Marijuana which eventually proceeds to illegal polysubstance drugs like Methamphetamines, Heroin and cocaine (Kendal, 2002, P.1). At the same time, there are other factors to consider drug sequences and causation to proceed to hard core drugs. Some researchers argued that legalized drugs using in early teenagers and adulthood period changed to biology, sensitivity and approach towards the hard core illicit drugs in later life. Currently…show more content…
Firstly, “Gateway theory” has been verified by several researchers. Maldonado- Molina (2010, p.913) supported that there were clear order which particular drug is tried prior to the other drugs and generally hard stage drugs is more than those who tried previous lower stage or soft drugs before. The author (Maldonado-Molina, 2010, p. 913) concluded that both alcohol and cigarettes initiate marijuana as a gateway drugs and even between legal substances has got gateway factors which alcohol function as a gateway substance for cigarette.
Especially, there was approximately 85 times higher risks of illicit substance misuse for the adolescent marijuana users compared to non-marihuana users which the U.S.A study found (Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse 1994, cited in Morral, McCaffrey and Paddock, 2002, P. 1494). In addition, there was also study in New Zealand argued that frequent marijuana users in adolescent had 140 times higher risk to develop to hard stage of drugs use compared to non- marijuana users. (Fergusson & Horwood, 2000, cited in Morral, McCaffrey and Paddock, 2002, P.
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