The social exigencies of the gateway progression to the use of illicit drugs from adolescence into adulthood

Roy Otten, Chung Jung Mun, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background There is limited empirical integration between peer clustering theory and the Gateway framework. The goal of the present study was to test the hypothesis that friendship associations partly predict gateway escalations in the use of drugs from adolescence to adulthood. Method This longitudinal study analyzed 3 waves of data from a community sample of 711 male and female participants without a history of illicit drug use reporting drug use at age 17, 22, and 27. Substance use assessments including tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, onset and abuse/dependence tendency of illicit drugs other than cannabis (i.e., cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates), and friends’ reported use of illicit drugs. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. Results Participants’ cannabis use level at age 17 was positively associated with perceived friends’ drug use at age 22, which in turn predicted participants’ onset of illicit drug use between ages 22 and 27. Moreover, progression of tobacco use throughout age 17 to 22 was associated with an increased onset of illicit drug use between ages 22 and 27. Apart for an effect of cannabis use at age 22 on abuse and dependence tendency to various drugs at age 28, results were similar. Conclusions During this period of development, the availability and selection of drug-using friends contributes to the progression to potentially more rewarding and damaging illicit drugs. These findings suggest the need to attend to the peer ecology in prevention and support the common practice of using abstaining peers in treatment for drug dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

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Street Drugs
Cannabis
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Tobacco
Opiate Alkaloids
Marijuana Abuse
Methamphetamine
Tobacco Use
Ecology
Cocaine
Substance-Related Disorders
Cluster Analysis
Longitudinal Studies
Alcohols
Availability

Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • Gateway model
  • Illicit drugs
  • Peer clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

The social exigencies of the gateway progression to the use of illicit drugs from adolescence into adulthood. / Otten, Roy; Mun, Chung Jung; Dishion, Thomas J.

In: Addictive Behaviors, Vol. 73, 01.10.2017, p. 144-150.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Otten, Roy ; Mun, Chung Jung ; Dishion, Thomas J. / The social exigencies of the gateway progression to the use of illicit drugs from adolescence into adulthood. In: Addictive Behaviors. 2017 ; Vol. 73. pp. 144-150.
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