Nicotine – potential gateway drug?

A recent study on mice showed possibilities for tobacco products to be gateway drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the study is the first of its kind to “show that nicotine might prime the brain to enhance the behavioral effects of cocaine.”

Researchers from Columbia University  conducting the current study on mice published their latest finding in Science Translational Medicine. Over the course of a seven day period, they exposed mice to drinking water that contained nicotine. The mice showed “an increased response to cocaine.”

Relating this study to humans, the researched reexamined statics from a 2003 National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Related Consequences to find a relationship between nicotine and cocaine dependency. They found that “the rate of cocaine dependence was higher among cocaine users who smoked prior to starting cocaine compared to those who tried cocaine prior to smoking.”

To read the article in full, click here.

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