A new University of Florida study released this week says alcohol — not marijuana — should be considered the gateway drug that can lead teens to greater drug use. UF researchers found that, of a representative sample, 72% of teens say they’ve consumed alcohol, compared to 43% who said they used marijuana. The study also found teens who used alcohol were up to 16 times more likely to then use other legal and illicit drugs. Gwen Love is the Prevention Services Coordinator for CDS Family and Behavioral Health Services. Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Emily Burris spoke with Love about these findings and what may be leading to a greater number of teens abusing alcohol at a younger age.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/FPLoveQAEmilyBurris.mp3]
Researchers have recently visited local clinics to interview and select possible participants.