Despite the differences in their legal status, both nicotine and cocaine are known for their ability to cause physical dependence and addiction. The path to dependence and addiction typically begins when use of a given substance makes changes in the way the brain produces or breaks down dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical that plays several key roles inside the brain and body. Current evidence indicates that nicotine and cocaine alter the brain’s dopamine levels in highly similar ways. In addition, the ongoing presence of nicotine makes the brain more susceptible to cocaine’s effects and prepares the ground for cocaine addiction.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And, according to a new study, where there’s cigarette smoke there’s a good chance there’s also pot smoke. In a survey of young people ages 18 to 25, more than half said they used both tobacco and marijuana. In previous research, just 35 percent admitted to using both.
Although smoking trends among American high school students had sharply decreased during the late 1990s, a new study shows that the rate of decline in smoking among teenagers has began to level off. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest findings from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.