Gateway drugs are drugs that often lead to the use of stronger, more addictive drugs. Gateway drugs can be compared to putting a frog directly into boiling water. The frog will jump out because of the extreme heat, but if you put it in cool water and gradually heat the water to boiling, the frog will stay in there until its death. Gateway drugs are similar to the water that is being slowly heated because it seems harmless at first. Gradual use of gateway drugs can cause one self to get into hot water. The habitual use of these drugs creates a situation where it becomes nearly impossible to get out of without intervention.
The most prevalent gateway drugs--tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana--are a problem with today's youth almost everywhere. Most often, young people try these drugs to appease friends who are pressuring them to do it, but then become addicted themselves.
Since tobacco and alcohol are sold at almost every gas station and convenience store, it is very easy for one to get a hold of. Even people under age can easily get their hands on alcohol or tobacco products by getting someone of age to purchase it for them, going to parties where they have them, or by simply stealing it. Even though marijuana is illegal, to get a hold of it, all you need to do is find someone who smokes it in order to locate a drug dealer.
A recent study by Columbia University stated that the earlier children use the gateway drugs tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana, the more likely they are to move on to other drugs. Youths who drank alcohol were 50 times more likely to use cocaine, and those who smoked cigarettes were 19 times as likely to use cocaine. Nearly 90% of cocaine...