Scientists have proven that marijuana is a «starter» drug

© Fotolia / ZerborХимическая formula cannabidiol included in stostav of marijuana on the tablet screenScientists have proven that marijuana is a «starter» drug© Fotolia / Zerbor

. British researchers analyzed statistics on the use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol in recent years and concluded that Smoking marijuana during adolescence increases the likelihood of more severe types of intoxicants, according to a paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

«Our study is another argument in favor of marijuana use in adolescence leads to problems with other substances in adulthood. We can’t say why this happens, and now it is very important to reveal the nature of this connection. This will help us to understand what kind of people are at risk and allow us to help them not to harm their health,» said Michelle Taylor (Michelle Taylor) from the University of Bristol (UK).

In recent years, among scientists has renewed the debate about whether marijuana is a gateway drug and whether it causes dependence. Studies conducted in the past on animals, gave a mostly negative response, but recent observations of large groups of fans of «weed» showed that continuous use of marijuana leads to changes in the brain and dulls the sense of pleasure from waiting of pleasant things.

All this pointed to the fact that marijuana can cause at least psychological dependence and increase the chances that her lover in the future will begin to consume and other drugs in search of new sensations and spice to life.

Taylor and her colleagues have found new evidence that marijuana is really a «starter» drug, observing the lives of approximately five thousand British teenagers ranging from 13-18 years old and ending their 21 birthday.

Most of them, as they say scientists are not were drug addicts, 80% of study participants never touched marijuana, and only 3% of them confessed to constant use of «grass». Watching the lives of these adolescents for five years or more, biologists hoping to understand how the absence or presence of addiction to marijuana may affect the future the fascination with British youth alcohol, tobacco and heavier drugs.

These observations, according to Taylor, clearly demonstrated that marijuana use increases the probability of transition to other drugs. For example, pupils regularly smoked marijuana, in 37 times more likely to become simple smokers, and three times more likely to become alcoholics. The probability of use of other narcotics grew, on average, 26 times.

The situation is similar, according to doctors, was observed among those adolescents who used marijuana only occasionally. Accordingly, it is possible to say that marijuana can indeed be a «starter» drug, but scientists warn that cause and effect in this case is not yet defined.

«We emphasize that our study does not support, and does not reject the ideas of the proponents of changing the legal status of marijuana, especially given the fact that neither Smoking nor consumption of alcohol is not illegal in Britain. On the other hand, our data speak in favor of the fact that we need strategies that will reduce the likelihood of contact of young people with marijuana,» concludes Taylor.