gateway drug

noun

Definition of gateway drug

  1. :  a drug (such as alcohol or marijuana) whose use is thought to lead to the use of and dependence on a harder drug (such as cocaine or heroin)

First Known Use of gateway drug

1981


GATEWAY DRUG Defined for English Language Learners

gateway drug

noun

Definition of gateway drug for English Language Learners

  • : a drug (such as alcohol or marijuana) that is thought to lead to the use of more dangerous drugs (such as cocaine or heroin)


Medical Dictionary

gateway drug

play
noun gate·way drug \ˈgāt-ˌwā-\

Medical Definition of gateway drug

  1. :  a drug (such as alcohol or marijuana) whose use is thought to lead to the use of and dependence on more dangerous, addicting substances (such as cocaine or heroin) To end at the beginning, nicotine … is now considered a “gateway drug,” as it commonly precedes and is comorbid with other substance use.—Donald A. Henderson, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 9 June 1999

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