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How is it Possible to Go From Prescriptions to Heroin Abuse?

From the time we’re children, we learn that drug use is bad, and we also learn about what the most dangerous drugs are. If you were to ask anyone what they thought was the worst drug out there, they’d probably say heroin. This often makes people wonder why so many people are addicted to the drug when it’s common knowledge how dangerous it is. Most heroin addicts didn’t begin using heroin as their first drug of choice, and they most likely thought they’d never even try the drug. However, with the raging opioid epidemic in this country today, many individuals go straight from prescriptions to heroin abuse.

Prescriptions to Heroin Abuse

The core cause of heroin addiction is prescription drug abuse. Painkillers are one of the world’s biggest problem drugs, and many people don’t realize how the disease of addiction can progress. These medications are prescribed for people when they’ve had an injury or a surgery to help them manage pain, but there are also people who turn to the medication as a way to get high. The medication works by attaching to opiate receptors in the brain, which helps to block pain while also giving a euphoric effect.

Those who are prescribed that drug and become addicted start off by abusing the medication. They find that the normal dosage that has been prescribed isn’t helping the pain like it used to, or they’re not feeling the same effects that they once did. This is the first sign of a dependence to the medication. The brain becomes tolerant and begins to crave the substance. It makes the person think that the pain is greater than what it is so they will use more.

The problem with abusing medications is that it’s extremely difficult to get refills. Doctors and pharmacies have been finding as many ways as possible to prevent potential painkiller abuse, which results in the person having to find new means to get more. The person will begin to steal the medication from friends and family members, and they will also begin buying the medication on the streets.

Purchasing Prescription Medications Illegally

When prescription opiate addiction has reached the point where the person is seeking out drug dealers, their disease quickly progresses. They’ll begin to buy stronger medications like OxyContin because it’s a commonly sold painkiller on the streets. OxyContin typically sells for about $80 to $100 on the streets, so their addiction can get quite expensive. At some point they find out that heroin gives a better high, and it’s much cheaper.

Although the person thought they’d never use such a drug, they’ll quickly change their mind in order to feed their addiction and avoid the harsh symptoms of withdrawal.

Seeking Help for a Heroin Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with a heroin addiction, the best way to get better is by going to a qualified drug treatment center. Here, the addict will be given the care and attention that they need while they go through the detox process. After detox, they’ll be able to begin rehabilitation where they’ll learn how to live a better life without the use of heroin or any other mind-altering substance.

9 Comments

  • Jonathan

    This article gives me a new twist on my thought of what the worst drug is. Before I used to hink that it was LSD, no competition. As LSD (Acid) is the only drug that stays in your system no matter what detox program is done as it is always stored in your spinal cord and there is no way of getting it out. And years later down the road, you can have flashbacks and you are on a full trip in the middle of the day.
    But with being given this new information, I see how heroin and other opiates have effects that trickle throughout your entire life. It is the drugs that numb you or that enhance or modify your sensations that are the most addictive however, such as ecstacy.
    This was good information to have and I appreciate the viewpoint shift.

  • Walter

    Sadly this is a very true article. I myself know firsthand how addicting prescription painkillers can be. I remember when i was given hydrocodone for my knee surgery when i was just out of high school. I followed a path just like was described. I had to take more pills to counteract the pain even though my leg was healing and i was starting to walk around totally fine, but my knee still hurt very badly. Then i took a couple extra pills one night and noticed i felt “really good”. Then i ran out and asked my parents for a refill even though my leg was almost healed. They said no and i lost it. They then said definitely no and that is when i realized i had a problem. Luckily i had a support structure to not suffer coming off the drugs so I definitely agree that rehabilitation has a very key effect on getting anyone who is having this problem the help they need.

    I also have seen people go down the heroin path and it is not pretty. I wish i had known this info back then where i could have helped my friends who struggled with this.

  • Gina M

    Sounds like an inevitable, vicious cycle that is impossible to get out of. And definitely something that can’t be fixed without professional help.

  • Mike Johns

    Alcoholism should be treated as soon as it hits someone because it can be devastating for the person himself as well as for the people around him, there are facilities like Drug and Alcohol Treatment Florida which are helping in this.

  • hillary

    Drug abuse is a huge problem in this country. Prescription drugs are one of the easiest to get a hold of. I really hope that teens and young adults will see that there is help out there for their problem.

  • mike

    Informative article! Is there a reliable review of effective rehabilitation programs on the eastern side of the U.S>

  • Heather

    It’s scary how easy someone can go from taking pain killers for a legitimate problem to abusing heroin. It is nice that I can find information about how someone can go from one drug to another, as a sibling of a recovering drug addict, I have many questions.

  • Korinna `

    My dad is addicted to prescription drugs. I have been having a hard time figuring out how to talk to him about it, because every time you bring it up he comes up with this list of make believe illness, and injury’s. I am worried that he is going to kill himself.

  • Eugenia

    I never associated heroin with prescription drugs. Now that I have read this, I can see how the two go together.This has got to be a terrible thing to happen to someone.

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