When you look at the impact of drug use, it is natural to wonder how addiction starts. “In most cases, nobody starts with hard drugs,” said Scottie Maples, a Colonel with the Clark County Sheriff ”s Office. “They start with marijuana.”
Many people believe that “gateway” drugs don’t exist. However, Maples disagrees.
“There’s people that want to push the limit,” Maples said. He believes that there are people with personalities which are attracted to addiction. While not everyone who uses “softer” drugs become addicted, users should be wary.
According to Drug Watch International, almost 90 percent of cocaine users began smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, or using marijuana before trying cocaine. While this does not show that all marijuana users become addicted to drugs like cocaine, it does show that trying marijuana can be a starting point for using hard drugs.
Maples says there are dangers with any type of drug, whether it be marijuana or heroin. In Indiana, if someone is at fault in an accident and someone is injured or killed, having marijuana in his or her system can cause more problems than you might think.
“You could smoke marijuana 20 days ago, not be high, crash a car, hurt or kill somebody, and go to prison because you smoked marijuana 20 days prior to that,” Maples explained. “If that doesn’t open your eyes about smoking marijuana, and how it can get real bad for you, I don’t know what does.”
Maples tells teenagers to stay busy and driven. He believes if teens are involved in activities, it could keep them out of trouble.
“The more you’re involved in positive programs, whether it be sports, theater, or art, the less chance you’re going to have to go down these avenues to become addicted to drugs,” he said.
Written by Kristen Jacobs