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Prescription Painkillers to Blame for Rise in Heroin Addiction

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


Heroin Addiction

Prescription painkiller addiction has been on the rise 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, making it easier to ditch a heroin addiction for legal pills. 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. Youths have even been cleaning out their parents’ medicine cabinets to share the contents at parties.


Prescription Pills Addiction

As we’ve become more aware of the problem of heroin addiction and 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.


Find Healing at The Watershed

If you or someone you love needs treatment for heroin addiction or prescription drug addiction, call The Watershed today. Experienced professionals are waiting to take your call 24 hours a day, and are ready to answer any questions you have about treatment. Watch the video to hear from Jennifer, the Program Director at The Watershed, and get her perspective on how The Watershed will help you overcome addiction.

heroin addiction

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