Gateway Drugs

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Gateway drugs: They are More than meets the eye : 

Gateway drugs: They are More than meets the eye Mr. Thomas Spellmire EDUC 535: Health Topics Spring 2010

What is the Gateway Drug Theory? : 

What is the Gateway Drug Theory? The Gateway Drug Theory is “the hypothesis that the habitual use of less deleterious drugs may lead to a future risk of using more dangerous hard drugs and/or crime”. (1) In other words, use of a gateway drug may lead to use of other more serious and dangerous drugs (i.e. cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, etc…). Gateway drugs are generally considered to be alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.

Questions/Comments to Gateway Movie : 

Questions/Comments to Gateway Movie What are your initial reactions after seeing this movie? Do you think the kids in the movie had a choice whether to use drugs, or do you think they were “forced/pressured” into it? If they were “forced/pressured”, by whom? If you were in their situation, how would you react??? If you were caught in the trap of using drugs, would you have the courage to ask for help???

Alcohol Statistics : 

Alcohol Statistics Teenagers who are heavy drinkers (consume at least five drinks on five occasions over 30 days) are 12 times likelier to use illegal drugs than those who do not drink. (2) Youth who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine. (3)

Alcohol Knowledge Activity : 

Alcohol Knowledge Activity Take five minutes and list as many alcohol (beer, wine, hard liquor) brands as you can. Compare your list with several classmates sitting near you. Take five minutes and list the names of the people who live on your block or in your apartment building. Compare the number of entries on the two lists you created. What do you notice???

Tobacco Statistics : 

Tobacco Statistics Adolescent cigarette smokers are 100 times more likely to smoke marijuana and are more likely to use illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin in the future than young people who do not smoke cigarettes. (4)

Tobacco Knowledge Activity – Part 1 : 

Tobacco Knowledge Activity – Part 1 Identify the following tobacco characters:

Tobacco Knowledge Activity – Part 2 : 

Tobacco Knowledge Activity – Part 2 With a partner or small group of your classmates, list as many movies or television shows as you can think of in which the main character(s) smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products.

Marijuana Statistics : 

Marijuana Statistics Of those teenagers who use marijuana three to 10 times, 20% go on to use cocaine. Of those who use marijuana 100 or more times, 75% go on to use cocaine. (5) Marijuana smokers who initiated use before age 17 have up to a six times greater chance of developing dependence on marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs. (7)

Interesting/Eye Opening Statistics : 

Interesting/Eye Opening Statistics Children who use gateway drugs are 266 times as likely to use cocaine as those who don’t use gateway drugs. (6) By the end of their 12th grade year, Nearly half of students have tried marijuana Over half of students have tried cigarettes (tobacco) Over 75% of students have tried alcohol (7) Nearly 90% of cocaine users had first drank alcohol, smoked tobacco, or used marijuana. (2)

Questions to think about… : 

Questions to think about… How can you avoid experimentation with gateway drugs? Are drugs readily available in your community? How do you know? Why would anyone think that experimentation with drugs is acceptable? What role can your parents play in helping you stay away from drugs?

Additional Resources : 

Additional Resources The American Council for Drug Education Parents: The Antidrug Pride Omaha, Inc.

References : 

References Research conducted by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Drug Watch International U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Research reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry Connect with Kids Network, Inc. National Institute on Drug Abuse

Standards Addressed : 

Standards Addressed Health Frameworks for CA Public Schools Expectation 3 for High School Students Health Education Standards 1.4.A - Identify the social and legal implications of using and abusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 1.10.A - Clarify myths regarding the scope of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among adolescents. 3.2.A - Evaluate prevention, intervention, and treatment resources and programs concerning alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 5.1.A - Use a decision-making process to evaluate how the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs affects individuals, families, and society. 8.1.A - Participate in activities in the school and community that help other individuals make positive choices regarding the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

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