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The Role Gateway Drugs Play in Our Addictions

Sometimes throughout our struggles with addiction, we will use certain drugs first that serve as gateway drugs to other, harsher drugs that end up becoming our drugs of choice, the ones we default to for an extended period of time. These preliminary substances or behaviors are often known as gateway drugs and are considered to be part of what starts us down the path of addiction. We know gateway drugs can be what introduces us to drug use, but how they function for us can be less understood. They actually can play a unique role in the development of our addictions beyond merely introducing us to substance use.

When we’re first starting out and experimenting with drugs, we’re often timid and nervous. We often are afraid of what the consequences of our experimentation will be. We might be afraid of all the mental, emotional and physical symptoms we will experience. Once we pass through the initial hesitation and nervousness, though, we can feel as though we’ve conquered our fear and our own limitations. We can feel invincible and on top of the world. We feel the euphoria of our drug-induced high, along with the feeling that we can successfully get through any fear of discomfort for the sake of that high. Getting back to that high becomes our priority. Our gateway drugs are what started us out on that path, and they are what enable us to feel comfortable enough to keep going.

Our use of gateway drugs can lower our defenses and our inhibitions. We no longer carry the same fear of repercussions that we had before starting to use. We now feel comfortable knowing that we’ll survive the difficult symptoms of our addictions and the side-effects of drugs. We start to feel stronger in our ability to cope with the adverse effects of the harmful substances and behaviors we’re becoming dependent upon. We don’t worry about coming down from the high, or experiencing withdrawal, or becoming chemically, physically and emotionally dependent. We’re hyper-focused on attaining the high, any which way we can get it.

Once we get our start with gateway drugs, we can feel like there’s nothing we can’t do when it comes to drugs. Over time, we build our tolerance to each drug and no longer feel the same euphoric high, the release and relief we’ve come to depend upon. Now we’re desperate to seek out new drugs, anything to get back to that initial high. Eventually, we find our drugs of choice, the ones we feel suit us best, that we stick with over time. Our gateway drugs started us out on this path and served as the gateway that we walked through to wind up on this road.

Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery? Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800.