Heroin Goes Mainstream

A new study shows the role prescription painkillers have played in reviving heroin abuse.

Brentwood 6/27/2013 10:20 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

In the ‘90s heroin was seen as a drug for grungy rockers living on the streets of Seattle. However today’s heroin addict looks very much like the girl next door. How did that happen? Blame the prescription painkiller epidemic.

Prescription painkiller addiction became mainstream in the last decade and introduced Vicodin, OxyContin and other powerful drugs to middle America. Even if you weren’t abusing them, you probably knew someone who was. Prescription drugs are easy to get, after all. Back pain, a root canal, a minor medical procedure or a major surgery will all score you some powerful drugs.

Most people use them responsibly, taking them as prescribed to manage very real pain for a limited period of time. Some slide into abuse, while others tuck the unused pills away in a drawer to be found by someone else looking to experiment. Kids have even been cleaning out their parents’ medicine cabinets to share the contents at parties.

As we’ve become more aware of the problem of prescription addiction, parents lock up their pills and authorities crack down on pill mills and doctor shopping. In response addicted individuals are turning to heroin to get a similar high at a cheaper price and without all the hassle.

Prescription drugs are now a gateway to the abuse of hard, illegal drugs according to a new study. Researchers looked at a high-risk group of adolescents who abused both injection drugs and prescription drugs. About 85 percent of the teens said they abused opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin before trying heroin. Proving the progression is the fact that, on average, the painkiller abuse started two years before heroin use. Approximately 30 percent of those studied said they started misusing prescription drugs after stealing them from a family member. These statistics should act as a reminder for parents to be aware and talk openly with their kids about addiction.

Addiction Help at The Canyon

If you or someone you love needs treatment for heroin or prescription drug addiction, call The Canyon at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.





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