To fully understand why a person develops addictions, it is important to remember that each person is different, with their own set of circumstances. While some of these are similar, the events that lead to prescription drug and heroin abuse can be precipitated by varying factors, such as physical pain, stress, the recent death of a loved one, and so on. When people become addicted to heroin, they may do also as a result of a prescription painkiller addiction. In fact, the line between prescription drug and heroin abuse may be stronger than many think.
The prescription drug rehab center at BlueCrest Recovery can help those with a prescription drug or heroin addiction to overcome their dependency. Our team of experienced clinicians will work with the person in a comprehensive and holistic manner so that all aspects of their life can be addressed. We understand that addiction is a chronic disease, and we take this into account when developing individualized treatment plans for our patients. Learn more about the connection between prescription drug and heroin abuse by calling us today at 888.292.9652.
What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
This type of drug abuse involves using pain relievers like Vicodin or oxycodone. People will self-medicate to relieve pain rather than following their doctor’s orders. Over time, they find they need higher and higher dosages of prescription drugs to notice any pain relief. By this point, they have developed an addiction to the drug.
Some people will even become hostile and highly defensive if their doctor attempts to slowly wean them off the drugs or switch them to a different pain reliever. Others strongly believe they cannot function without the drug.
Another type of prescription drug abuse is when people take the drug but were not prescribed it. For instance, someone is taking oxycodone they got from a friend or family member even though they may not need it. They, too, can become addicted and find they cannot function without the drug.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is derived from the poppy plant and begins as opium. The opium is refined into morphine, and the morphine is further processed to make heroin. Heroin is considered a pain reliever and was once prescribed to patients before it was made illegal. The drug is highly addictive. For many people, taking it once is enough to get them hooked.
The heroin high is so addictive because it makes people feel:
Heroin also produces a strong physical dependence, and people can suffer from painful withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to quit. It is important to note that heroin abuse carries the risk of overdose and death due to its potency.
The Link Between Prescription Drugs and Heroin
A person with an addiction to prescription painkillers is 19 times more likely to try heroin, according to data collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In another study where young urbanites were surveyed, 86% reported they used prescription pain relievers before trying heroin.
Keep in mind these individuals were not prescribed painkillers by a doctor. Rather, the pain relievers became a gateway drug to heroin. When they could no longer obtain the drugs they required to feed their addiction, they started looking for another drug that would bring them similar effects.
This study shows a major change in gateway habits. Previously, those addicted to prescription drugs had first used heroin. Today, it is the other way around. People are moving from prescription drugs to heroin. One reason for this change reported by individuals surveyed is that heroin was cheaper and much easier to obtain.
Opioid Addiction Help from BlueCrest Recovery
Addiction to either prescription drugs or heroin is dangerous. As one becomes addicted, more and more drugs are required to achieve the same effects. Opioid abuse can lead to accidental overdoses, brain damage, coma, and even death.