Anti-drug advocates who have admonished for years that marijuana is a "gateway drug" may be on to something, according to a study by Yale University School of Medicine researchers.
The Yale study, which appears online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, showed that alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were associated with an increased likelihood of prescription drug abuse in men 18 to 25. In women of that age, only marijuana use was linked with a higher likelihood of prescription drug abuse.
For years, researchers have looked at a connection between marijuana and hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, said Lynn Fiellin, the study's lead author and an associate professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. But given the large number of people who abuse prescription drugs -- particularly opioids (or painkillers) such as OxyContin and Percocet -- Fiellin said it seemed worthwhile to examine whether there was a link between marijuana and use of these drugs.
The study found that, among both men and women, those who had used marijuana were 2.5 times more likely than those their age who abstained to later dabble in prescription drugs. Also, young men who drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes were 25 percent more likely to abuse prescription opioids. However, the study didn't show an association between alcohol or cigarette use in young women and later use of prescription drugs.
Fiellin conceded that more research is needed to prove a concrete connection between opioid abuse and marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes. However, Fiellin said, this study is a start. "It's a red flag," she said. "It sort of highlights that there's a potential association that's important here."
Source: Hartford Courant
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
About Jim Liebelt
Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
Recently by Jim Liebelt
- What's Hot? 5/17/13Friday, May 17, 2013
- Depression in Teen Girls Linked to Absent Fathers in Early ChildhoodThursday, May 16, 2013
- Chronic Fatigue in Teens May Be Sign of DepressionWednesday, May 15, 2013
- Teens Who Text and Drive Take Other Driving RisksTuesday, May 14, 2013
- Study Links Adolescent Bullies to Later Criminal BehaviorMonday, May 13, 2013
Recently on Crosswalk Blogs
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content