Typically when you go to the doctor the last thing you anticipate is leaving with an addiction to what he or she prescribed you. However, for some people that are prescribed opioid painkillers, that is the end result. Opioid painkillers, like Oxycontin and Vicodin, are typically what doctors will prescribe after a surgery, injury or in situations involving chronic pain. But what happens when the pain is relieved and the body craves more pills? And how long until painkillers are not enough? This is just the beginning of a dangerous path towards addiction.
Many people fail to realize that there is such a distinct connection between opioid painkillers and heroin. Heroin is a derivative of morphine, which comes from the poppy plant, similar to the opiate that resides in painkillers. This gives both painkillers and heroin similar chemical properties, and they react on the same opioid receptors in the brain. When these receptors are activated, the user of the substance is overcome with feelings of euphoria. Over time, just as with any substance, a tolerance is built and more of the substance is required to achieve the same high. The similarities of these drugs can cause a transfer from using and abusing painkillers to heroin, in addition to heroin being cheaper and oftentimes more accessible.
Many doctors have started to prescribe less painkillers in an effort to keep those who are addicted from staying addicted. This method is not proving to be effective, as the result is that addicts can simply turn to heroin. Some states, such as Iowa, have decided to try to crackdown and further limit the distribution of prescription painkillers in hopes that it would lead to a decrease in the abuse. This plan backfired and again resulted in an increased use of heroin. Simply put, no matter how we try to control the distribution of painkillers, the odds are the addict will seek out heroin or another drug of choice to be the replacement.
What makes heroin more ideal in the scheme of things is its low price and high availability as compared to painkillers. Once the prescription is out the individual may be able to find more painkillers from someone else and that may be able to last them a while. But the money spent over time begins to add up and take a toll, especially with chronic use as a higher tolerance is built. This is when heroin can be introduced and becomes a viable option. Heroin is significantly cheaper and much more potent. For an addict this is ideal, the same or a better high for less money.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an opiate addiction, reach out to an addictions specialist today. For information on treatment you can call Serenity Acres at 1-800-203-2024 to speak to a treatment professional to discuss your options.