Marijuana gets the blame, but research shows that, at least when it comes to cocaine, it’s alcohol that leads you to the hard stuff.
More than likely, you were a DARE kid in school. So also more than likely, the only thing you were taught about drugs is that they’re bad — and that the baddest drug of them all might be marijuana. Because marijuana was a one-way ticket — to cocaine, to peyote, to opium, to acid, to whippets, to ecstasy, to ketamine, to meth, to heroin, to all of them at once. Essentially, once you smoked weed, there was no turning back. Your future was that of the guy who gave the school-sanctioned lecture about losing part of his face to a freebasing accident, which wouldn’t have happened, of course, had he never set that first joint ablaze.
Fortunately, today we know it’s perfectly possible to do drugs without becoming an addict. In fact, even DARE, which infiltrated nearly every school in the country with its “Just Say No” mantra, is no longer an anti-drug program; instead, it focuses on teaching good decision-making and effective communication skills. Not to mention, recreational marijuana use is legal in a handful of states, and it seems like only a matter of time before the same is true everywhere else in the country.
However, the idea of a gateway drug hasn’t completely dissipated. If anything, recent research has found that we were looking in the wrong place all along and that another very common, very widespread drug is to blame — alcohol.
That’s right: The real gateway drug might be booze.