The Instigator
GaryBacon
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points
The Contender
Joshua33
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

There is no such thing as a gateway drug

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,766 times Debate No: 4893
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (10)

 

GaryBacon

Pro

There have often been claims that drugs such as alcohol or marijuana can lead people into harder drugs (e.g. cocaine, crack, heroin). I do not believe that this is true, and I am against the whole idea of a gateway drug.

This debate should be accepted by someone that DOES believe that softer drugs can lead to harder drugs. It would be appreciated if those people that would turn this debate into something else entirely (such as the definition of the word "such" or similar tactics) refrain from accepting this challenge.
Joshua33

Con

People have a tendency to evaluate risks in a short term manner. They might consider the risks of a drug such as marijuana to be low and convince themselves that the relatively low risks, such as a lack of immediate health endangerment, lax criminal punishment, and the debatable impact of long term side effects are not enough to belay some amount of experimentation.

However, these same people would not under the same circumstances select a "harder" drug to experiment with. Having found the results of a softer drug to be enticing enough to give merit to the experimentation of a harder drug the individuals might then be willing to experiment further.

It is easy to see the process.
Debate Round No. 1
GaryBacon

Pro

I do agree that many people are willing to experiment with a fairly soft drug, but not a harder drug. It is fairly obvious that people who are into harder drugs (cocaine, crack, heroin) did not start out with such substances.

There will be a natural progression for the people that end up doing harder drugs, and it will usually start with alcohol followed by marijuana. But people that are likely to move on to harder substances seem to do so based on personality factors and the crowds that they surround themselves with.

The process that you have laid out has been proposed numerous times in order to demonstrate the gateway process. But the question that one must ask is this: do softer drugs lead people to harder drugs? I, for one, think not.

Alcohol is a legal drug and is one of the substances that has been labelled as a gateway drug. But a brief look at the numbers will show that something is clearly wrong with the gateway theory. There are a huge number of people that drink. There are plenty of bars throughout this country that people flock to every night. The number of people that drink is clearly a very large one.

But then look at the amount of people that do heroin. The number is significantly lower than the amount of people that drink. If one leads to another, then there should be a much higher amount of heroin addicts.

Now I am well aware of the fact that I jumped from one end of the spectrum to the other. But using the logical flow of the gateway process, this should be allowed.

Take a typical scenario proposed by gateway theory-- alcohol leads to marijuana, marijuana leads to cocaine, cocaine leads to heroin. By the law of the syllogism it should be clear that alcohol would ultimately lead to heroin. Yet this is clearly not the case. The gateway process cannot exist, for if it did, there would be a much larger number of people into harder drugs based on the large number of people that consume alcohol.

We cannot simply pluck out individuals to say "Well for this heroin addict, this coke-head, and this pot head, alcohol was a gateway drug. But for all of the other people that only drink, alcohol was not a gateway drug." It simply doesn't work like that. Gateway drugs either exist or they do not. And simple observations in the world around us can confirm that gateway drugs do not exist.
Joshua33

Con

Joshua33 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
GaryBacon

Pro

In the field of science, there is a concept known as the post hoc fallacy. The full name is "post hoc ergo propter hoc," which roughly translated from the Latin means "after this, therefore as a result of this." The key to remember here is that it is a fallacy.

Simply because one event follows another, it does not mean that these events are linked by any causality. There are plenty of circumstances under which one event can follow another, but have no causal connection.

The best known examples demonstrating that the post hoc fallacy is indeed fallacious are superstitions. Here is a link that explains the fallacy and gives examples:

http://skepdic.com...

Now turning our attention to the concept of a gateway drug, it is clear that the only reason people consider this concept valid is a result of the post hoc fallacy. One substance was preceded by another, and in gateway theory logic this indicates that the first substance (e.g. alcohol or marijuana) was the cause for the use of another substance (e.g. cocaine or heroin).

But such logic is not only flawed, it is acknowledged as a fallacy by the entire scientific community. There is no real evidence that the gateway theory is correct, and after repeated failures to obtain evidence on any matter, I am of the opinion that absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.
Joshua33

Con

Joshua33 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
"I've done every drug except PCP"

are you sure ur aware of how many drugs there actually are. There a millions of drugs besides the ones that get all the press... Entheogens can be found basically anywhere.
Posted by LearnLoveLiveLife 8 years ago
LearnLoveLiveLife
I've done every drug except PCP.
They're all worth doing, except meth, in my opinion.

Some people just aren't ready to do them.
I am currently an occasional marijuana user.

I am not addicted to meth, heroin, crack, cocaine, marijuana, or alcohol. I am addicted to cigarettes.

Cigs are more addictive than crack statistically. They are legal.

I had no problem trying all those other things and not doing them more.
Just know what you're getting into, and how to recognize if you're losing it.

Proper preparation prevents poor performances.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
"heroine is my gateway drug of choice."

Hell yeah. Forget the e-less version.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
uh.. that is without the "e" although heroine's are a drug of mine as well.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
heroine is my gateway drug of choice.
Posted by nw91 8 years ago
nw91
agh id take it but i just debated someone that the gateway drug theory was false. lol oh well
ill be sure to follow it :)
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Vote Placed by Off_the_Wall.Paul 5 years ago
Off_the_Wall.Paul
GaryBaconJoshua33Tied
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Vote Placed by GaryBacon 7 years ago
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