The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 60% of marijuana users went on to try other drugs, which appears to justify the “marijuana is a gateway drug” theory, except when you learn that 88% of drug users used alcohol before any other drug.
Treatment4Addiction analyzed the government study which revealed that alcohol is more of a catalyst for trying new drugs, therefore dismissing marijuana as the wrongly-accused “gateway drug.”
Miriam Boeri, a sociology professor at Bentley University does not believe one type of drug use leads to another. In an article, she pointed out that poverty, mental illness and peer group pressure are all much stronger predictors of drug use.
Scientist Denise Kandel of Columbia University, who coined the term “gateway drug,” recently told NPR that she just published a new paper on the topic and it shows that nicotine is biologically the most potent gateway of all. When rodents were primed with nicotine, then given cocaine, they liked the cocaine much more.