Gateway drug

This is theory that evolves from a classic misinterpretation of data. Research data shows that thefirstillegaldrugusedbypeoplewhodevelopadrugproblemisusuallycannabis. Thiswas used to create a theory that suggested that cannabis was a ‘gateway drug’ that led people to more harmful and problematic use of other drugs. Actually, of course, most people who take substances in their childhood or young adulthood initially use alcohol. In terms of first use of illegal drugs, most people use cannabis but the vast majority of people who use cannabis in their youth do not go on to more harmful and problematic use of drugs.

Although the theory is discredited, it still circulates occasionally in media and political discussion of drug issues.