Q50.  Can using cannabis lead to the use of harder drugs? - Drug Addiction FAQs

A50. There is an argument about whether using cannabis leads to harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

Some would argue that there is a natural progression from cannabis through to hard drugs - known as a ‘gateway drug’. This changes the chemistry of the brain which makes it more susceptible to the effects of hard drugs.

They also argue that someone who uses cannabis is far more likely to try other drugs. However, others argue that there is no proven link between the two and that there are people who use cannabis because it is easily available or have tried it before other drugs. It is often the case that cannabis is the first drug people try due to its availability.

(Source: DrugScope 2000-2010)

Many people smoke cannabis without progressing to other drugs.

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  22. Can using cannabis lead to the use of harder drugs?
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  26. What is ‘cold turkey’?
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