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What Is a Gateway Drug?

What Is a Gateway Drug?Gateway drugs are widely available addictive substances that can lead to physical, social and mental opportunities for other drugs to enter the life of a San Diego resident.

Common Gateway Drugs for San Diego Residents

A variety of gateway drugs are prevalent in San Diego, including the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Nicotine from tobacco cigarettes
  • Alcohol

Physical Tolerance and Dependence for San Diego Residents

Physical tolerance and dependence to addictive substances are often reasons that gateway drug users in San Diego move on from one drug to the next. Tolerance can develop when the user’s body becomes accustomed to an amount of a specific drug and the chemicals in that drug that have been absorbed into the body. Dependence can begin when the user feels the need to continue taking the drug to curb withdrawal symptoms or to function normally. Physical tolerance and dependence upon one drug may lead a user to experiment with other drugs in search of satisfaction for his cravings.

The Social Aspect of Drug Abuse in San Diego

The social atmosphere that surrounds drug and alcohol abuse can also contribute to the persuasive nature of gateway drugs. The peer pressure that may have led a San Diego resident to begin taking a gateway drug could create a need to further impress others through the use of additional illicit substances. The environment that often accompanies gateway drug and alcohol abuse can also present more opportunities to use other illegal drugs. The people and places in a user’s life that enable him to continue his substance abuse habit can also lead to the development of a dangerous addiction.

Complications from San Diego Residents’ Mental Health Issues

Another aspect of gateway drug abuse is how these substances can affect a San Diego resident’s mind. Your mental health can begin to change as foreign substances continue to alter your bodily functions. This may lead gateway drug users to develop metal health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. If your mental health begins to deteriorate as an addiction develops, you may begin self-medicating, which can worsen both conditions. People who have multiple addictions or are diagnosed with an addiction and an accompanying mental health issue are called Dual Diagnosis patients. Professional rehab facilities offer an entrance evaluation to determine a patient’s physical and mental health, which can allow medical professionals to treat patients safely and ensure long-term sobriety.

Finding Help for San Diego Residents with Addiction

If you or someone you love in San Diego is struggling with addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about gateway drugs and how they can lead to addiction. We can also help connect you with the best treatment solutions for you situation. Please call now.