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The term "gateway drugs" refers to the theory that certain drug use leads to future drug use. Alcohol and tobacco are often called gateway drugs because of the link between the number of young people who use them and the number that go on to use harder drugs. But is it true? Do alcohol and tobacco cause young people to use other drugs? Consider these facts:
As a parent, if you're thinking, "Well, it's only alcohol and tobacco...," think again. While using alcohol and tobacco, young people develop behaviors that can also be associated with using drugs, such as a willingness to take chances. They also learn:
The use of tobacco and alcohol does not necessarily cause young people to use harder drugs. But there is strong evidence that using these substances sets up patterns of behavior that may make it easier to take the next step and use other drugs. The moment people smoke their first cigarette or drink their first beer, they have started a pattern of behavior that gets harder and harder to stop. And each time they are introduced to other drugs, they will be more likely to try them. Using substances also clouds a person's judgment, making it hard to say "NO" when offered other drugs.Using alcohol and tobacco is not the only behavior that can be associated with future drug use. Things like cutting school, speeding, being sexually active, and other risk-taking behaviors are also patterns of behavior that parents should be concerned about.
Absolutely! Nicotine is the leading cause of preventable death. Alcohol is physically addictive. Marijuana is psychologically addictive. Use of these drugs can harm physical, mental and sexual development. Using gateway drugs also increases the risk of getting sexually-transmitted diseases, including AIDS.
Why are there continuous articles and programs discussing the dangers of gateway drugs? The use of alcohol and/or tobacco (cigarettes and chewing tobacco) can open the door of curiosity to other drugs like marijuana, crack, and inhalants. Scientists are gathering evidence that tobacco and its key ingredient, nicotine, may open the way to more serious drug and alcohol use as reported by the National Institute of Drug/Alcohol (NIDA) Notes, Summer/Fall 1991.
Smoking may not be a specific cause of drug and alcohol use, but it presents powerful preventable risk factors preceding drug and alcohol use. Three characteristics are present:
Inhalants are another curiosity step that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) vapors in youth ages 7 to 17. These forms of sniffing. They are found in expensive solvents, aerosols, some anesthetics and other chemicals. Examples are model airplane glue, nail polish remover, lighter and cleaning fluids, and gasoline.Alcohol research suggests that alcohol use tends to increase the chance of using cigarettes and marijuana. According to a Gallup Youth Survey (5/97) alcohol is creeping back up in popularity. Most young alcohol users start drinking in the critical age period between 13 and 16. Alcohol use indicates an increasing pattern of alcohol and other drug use. The alarming trends in the greater use of alcohol and tobacco among youth are due, at least in part, to extensive advertising campaigns.Most important, as parents, continue the honest discussion of the dangers of these drugs. Encourage youth to share their concerns and questions. Remember to listen. This sends an important message to the youth that you care.
Likewise Brunei Darussalam has enforced legislation on alcohol through,
As for the licensing of tobacco, Brunei Darussalam has introduced,
Preventive measures for drug demand and reduction have also been active in Brunei Darussalam. In addition to ongoing long term Preventive Drug Education program such as routine anti drug lectures and exhibition for the mass community as stated:
Parents are worried and concerned with their children using alcohol and other drugs. There is because pressure from their peers may play a factor in the use of alcohol and other drugs. Parents must become involved, but most aren't sure how to talk with their children about drugs. A main reason children choose not to use drugs is because they are afraid of disappointing their parents. Children learn to make healthy choice, and feel good about them. Here are some primary prevention for raising drug-free children:
"Preventing children from ever starting to use drugs is the key to our nation's future. Prevention must set clear and consistent no-drug use standards, involve parents and communities, and have strong national leadership.Brunei Darussalam’s BASMIDA calls for a major overhaul of drug prevention efforts including:
Government has the opportunity to use these mechanism to make drug prevention more responsive to the needs and well being of the nation's children.The recision of drug and safe school prevention funding must be followed by action to empower communities and to establish national leadership and make drug prevention a national priority
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