Gateway Drugs in Ocean County, NJ

Unfortunately, drug use at the Jersey Shore continues to be a major problem among today’s youth, leading to arrests and major legal penalties and health concerns. While numerous factors can contribute to drug addiction and the consequences of their use, frequently the cause involves the use of gateway drugs in Ocean County. “Gateway drug” as defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary is a drug (such as alcohol or marijuana) that is thought to lead to the use of more dangerous drugs (such as cocaine or heroin)…leading to further addiction.

A number of studies have shown the serious nature of gateway drugs and their accessibility among youth.

• According to a study described in a recent Reuters Health article, Teen hookah and snus users more likely to move on to cigarettes, “Hookah and snus could directly lead to cigarette smoking either by introducing teens to the practice of inhaling smoke, in the case of hookah, or creating an addiction to nicotine that can be better satisfied by cigarette smoking in the case of snus.”

• Use of e-cigarettes has boomed in recent years, particularly among adolescents. Last year, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that e-cigarette use more than doubled among middle and high school students in 2011-12.

TIME reports a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is suggesting that e-cigarettes may serve as a “gateway drug” – a passage to other drugs with the likelihood of becoming addicted. The study shows that “nicotine can prime users to turn to harder drugs to keep the reward system satisfied.” According to the study, since e-cigs are “basically nicotine delivery devices,” they become a “powerful facilitator for addiction to cocaine and perhaps other drugs as well.”

Hookah and e-cigarettes may not only be a gateway to tobacco use, but can also lead to marijuana and addictions to other illicit drugs. This gateway to more serious drugs is a troubling trend for Ocean County, NJ, which was among the hardest county hit by heroin problems in past years.

Medical News Today reviewed a 2004 study testing gateway drugs. The study revealed that participants who smoked cigarettes had higher subsequent cocaine dependence than those who had not smoked cigarettes.

The New York Daily News, reported on a 2004 study, showed that “cocaine dependence was highest in users who started the drug while smoking cigarettes.” The authors were able to link this data to current research with e-cigarettes, which “pose the same risks for addiction to nicotine” as traditional cigarettes.

Having a drug offense on your criminal record can cause detrimental consequences.

If you or someone you know is facing charges of possession of marijuana or other illicit drugs in NJ, these are serious crimes that can land you in big trouble with the legal system of New Jersey resulting in jail time and fines. Partner Carmine R. Villani and the criminal defense attorneys at Villani & DeLuca P.C. are committed to helping you get your life back on track and put your legal troubles behind you. Contact our NJ drug crimes lawyers today at 732-965-3350 to schedule your free consultation.