Oprah sat down with Lindsay Lohan to clear the air about her addiction to drugs and alcohol that was broadcast on Oprah’s Next Chapter.
In the video clip below is a segment from the show where Lohan admits she’s an addict, and alcohol is her drug of choice.
She says she’s done cocaine a dozen or so times but it was mostly in social settings as a “party thing” and it helped her to drink more.
She comes across as being completely sincere and open in the discussion but she hits on a hotly debated topic when she says, in the past, alcohol was a gateway drug to other things for her.
What Are Gateway Drugs?
The subject of gateway drugs has been an ongoing debate since the “gateway hypothesis” was presented back in the 1980s. Marijuana as a gateway drug goes back even further to the 1936 film, “Reefer Madness,” which is now a cult classic, and way before the term was coined.
There have been numerous studies about whether alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco is a gateway drug, but so far, no consensus has been made. Some studies are for alcohol while some are against it. Other studies show similar results for tobacco and marijuana.
Until more scientific evidence is presented and agreed upon by the medical community, it’s difficult to prove that any of these substances should be considered as a pathway to other drugs. Or that “gateway” is even a real issue.
From a factual standpoint, we know that alcohol is classified as a drug, a depressant. We also know that Alcoholism is a serious medical condition, and people do use alcohol in conjunction with other drugs.
Those two facts alone do not necessarily prove that alcohol use is a gateway to illegal drug use and abuse. There are millions of people who drink alcohol heavily and never use any other mood altering chemicals, such as cocaine, heroin, or marijuana. The same can be said about tobacco and marijuana.
What often happens is alcohol consumption impairs a person’s judgment and, as a result, they then decide to try a dangerous and illegal drug like cocaine.
There may be a correlation but that’s not the same thing as causation. Addiction alters the brain’s chemistry and can cause a dependence to certain substances, whether legal or illicit.
The important part, as evidenced by Lindsay Lohan’s past history, is that addiction to any substance can ruin lives. Whether or not a drug serves as a gateway to other drugs isn’t as important as getting sober through recovery, or never being in the grips of addiction in the first place.
It may be easy for the public to judge people like Lindsay Lohan or any other person who has an addiction. But treatment professionals and people with an addiction know what it’s like to be under the spell and they never pass judgment on anyone who is willing to get help and make their life better.
Best of Luck with your recovery Lindsay, and thanks for being so open.