Marijuana: A Dangerous Gateway Drug? – August 2017

What you need to know about marijuana

  • Each year, over 19 million people in the US use or are dependent on marijuana.*
  • In 2015, the most recent year for which we have data, 138,000 sought treatment.*
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports “a person who smokes marijuana is greater than 104 times more likely to use cocaine than a person who never tries pot.”
  • According to national surveys, 43-48% of Americans have tried marijuana.**

Looking at the facts, it’s important to understand that for many people smoking pot is a slippery slope. Whether leading to experimentation with other drugs or becoming an addiction of its own, weed can wreak havoc in its users’ lives. In youth populations, with 6.5 percent of high school seniors admitting to daily use of marijuana***, the drug poses particular dangers and risks to their health, especially their growth and development. New growing techniques have led to a recent increase in the drug’s potency, greatly escalating the potential for overdose and addiction. In fact, observational studies suggest that one in nine regular marijuana users becomes addicted*.

The Bottom Line: Don’t Ignore the Risks of Marijuana

The risks surrounding marijuana use pose a great threat to the well-being of youth and all users of this drug. Think twice before saying, “it’s just pot.”

For more information about Chemical Dependency, check out our article with video on this subject.


*National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
**Gallup Poll 8/8/16, and Pew Research Poll 4/17/13
***National Institutes of Health (NIH)