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Is Vaping a Gateway Drug?

The use of e-cigarettes is widespread today. It was previously a smoking alternative, but many people who have never smoked now vape. Due to the high rates of teenagers vaping, many states raised the tobacco buying age to 21. E-cigs can cause severe health consequences because the devices contain tobacco and other harmful substances. The nicotine present can lead to adverse withdrawal cravings and affect brain development. At Destinations for Teens, we teach parents how to help their teens who are using vape devices.

Vaping as a Gateway

A gateway substance is habit-forming, causing users to develop other dangerous habits, such as alcohol or hard drug abuse. Many teens may start experimenting with marijuana or nicotine before transitioning to illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine. Unfortunately, common knowledge is that e-cigarette smoking is safer, but the fact is that vape juice contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Vape devices can act as gateway drugs. Studies about e-cigarettes are ongoing, and a lot is unknown when it comes to long-term effects. The situation can trouble the parents of teens who vape, believing it is harmless. Drug dependency is an epidemic in the US, but the affected can take the necessary steps to overcome it. If you have a teen struggling with substance abuse, refer your loved one to a rehab center for a wide range of programs, including:

Nicotine Addiction

While users claim that e-cigarettes are a safer smoking alternative, the effects are still dangerous. Besides, individuals who vape are at a higher risk of becoming regular smokers. While most teens think e-cigarettes are nicotine-free, these devices contain many hazardous substances. Nicotine can vary in different products because of improper industry regulation. Some e-cigarette manufacturers may claim 0% nicotine, but their products still contain the substance. Nicotine is one of the most common gateway drugs in the US, meaning most e-cigarettes can lead to dependency. If your child is engaging in vaping, do not wait until the teen starts abusing other hard drugs, such as cocaine. Helping your loved one quit the habit can prevent dependency.

Marijuana Vapers

Many teens and young adults in the US ingest marijuana through vape devices. The consumption method is more dangerous than smoking because it leads to higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration and an increased high. Marijuana is addictive, and the enhanced euphoria causes users to crave more of the drug. While not all marijuana vapers can start using hard drugs, it is a gateway for some individuals to try other substances. Teenagers who consume marijuana are at a higher risk of abusing illicit drugs like heroin.

The Dangers of Vaping

E-cigs can cause lung injury and premature death. The dangers occur because the devices contain harmful substances, such as:

  • Nicotine
  • Heavy metals, like lead, tin, and nickel
  • Chemicals that can cause cancer
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Dangerous chemical flavors, like diacetyl

Overall, vape devices can pave the way for the use of other substances. Some teens may not understand the dangers of e-cigarettes. If you discover your child is a vaper, talk to the teen about the implications of using e-cigarettes before the situation deteriorates.

Contact Destinations for Teens Today

Is your child struggling with substance abuse? Take the right step and seek early treatment from a professional. Vaping can be a gateway to other drugs, but rehab programs can correct your child’s behavior for better overall health. Our experts can help your loved one start the journey to overcome alcohol and drug dependency. Contact Destinations for Teens at 877.466.0620 today to schedule an appointment.