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A New 'Gateway Drug?'

According to a study published in the August edition of the The Journal of School Health, alcohol—not marijuana—is the gateway drug.

A New 'Gateway Drug?'

The decades-old gateway drug theory does in fact hold true for some drug users, but alcohol—not marijuana—is the gateway drug, according to a new study in The Journal of School Health.

Adam Barry, an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Department of Health Education & Behavior who co-authored the study, told Raw Story that "he believes that the persistent and misguided notion of marijuana as the primary gateway to more harmful substances went awry because its creators — who called it the 'Stepping Stone Hypothesis' in the 'Reefer Madness' era of the 1930s – fundamentally misread the data and failed to conduct an adequate follow-up."

According to Raw Story, Barry's study "ultimately found that seniors in high school who had consumed alcohol at least once in their lives 'were 13 times more likely to use cigarettes, 16 times more likely to use marijuana and other narcotics, and 13 times more likely to use cocaine.'"

Barry said his data suggests an investment into alcohol education at the high school level could help curb teenage drug use. 

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