Heroin Driven by Prescription Abuse

heroinHeroin used to be one of the most popular and dangerous drugs in America. It was seen as an urban epidemic that was hooking and then killing tens of thousands of minority Americans in our inner cities. Law enforcement and the government worked to fight the spread of heroin in our country (perhaps too slowly), and it eventually tapered off and faded away from its position as one of the worst drugs in our country. While it was the bane of most big cities a few decades ago, it slipped in priority as other, seemingly more dangerous drugs took its place.

Now, there is evidence that heroin is making a comeback. More and more Americans are getting hooked on this incredibly addictive and dangerous opioid drug. There is a lot of evidence that it isn’t necessarily heroin that is the draw, however. It appears that heroin is actually a fall-back drug for users of the most dangerous current epidemic in our country.

Prescription Abuse on the Rise

The main epidemic in America today is prescription drug abuse. This category includes all types of prescription drugs that an addict could try (including psychotropic medications, tranquilizers and anything else you could think of), but the main target for getting high is prescription painkillers.

These drugs are usually formulated to be chemically similar to opioids. Most “natural” opioid drugs are derived from the opium poppy. This ancient plant was responsible for the formulation of opium, and then later morphine and heroin. Each of these drugs still needs the poppy flower for its creation. They were also all originally created to be safe painkiller medicines that could ease the pain of surgery or chronic pain.

As countless millions all over the planet have discovered, these drugs did more than their original medical purpose. They also created a powerful, euphoric high that was more “enjoyable” and addictive than anything drug users have ever experienced before. Each of these drugs spread through the drug-using underworld even though they were planned as a safe alternative to earlier, more barbaric methods.

The newest types of painkillers, such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet and now Zohydro, are all formulated to act the same way as morphine or heroin, but in pill form. The chemists that designed them claimed to be making a safe alternative to the powerful opiates that had destroyed countless lives, but drug users soon found that wasn’t the case.

Instead, these pain pills seem to be just as or even more addictive than all of the drugs that have come before them. Even worse, the people that start using them think that they’re safe because a modern doctor prescribed them! They start taking these pills to treat a medical condition, and before they realize what has happened they find a strange sensation: they want to take even more of the pills than the doctor told them to. This is budding addiction, and millions of Americans on painkillers are experiencing this as we speak.

Driving Pain Pill Users to Heroin

Once someone on pain pills becomes addicted to these drugs, he or she will quickly realize that it’s a hard addiction to maintain. An addict can go through several pills a day, but they can cost up to $100 a pop. When the addict then learns that heroin can be purchased for as cheap as $10 a dose, there seems to be no comparison – heroin is the way to go.

For this reason, the US is seeing a new wave of heroin addiction sweeping through our communities. If we want to stop it, we need to all get on board with providing effective, all-natural drug rehabilitation to ever painkiller and heroin addict in the nation.


JamaNetwork.com: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1886185

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