Could Cigarettes and Booze Be the Real "Gateway Drugs"?

Using these legal substances preps the brain for cocaine addiction, new research suggests.

Beer and cigarettes.
Photo Credit: Pixabay



Alcohol reshapes the brain in ways that make rats more likely to become cocaine addicts

The idea of a "gateway drug" may sound like a throwback to the "Just say no" era. But new research offers fresh evidence that alcohol and nicotine — two psychoactive agents that are legal, ubiquitous and widely used during adolescence — ease the path that leads from casual cocaine use to outright addiction.

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Melissa Healy reports on health issues for the Los Angeles Times.