Opioid Drugs: Why Do People Use Heroin?
Drug overdose deaths claim the lives of over 52,000 people per year in America. This is more than guns, cars, murder or suicide. Opioid drugs, like prescription painkillers and heroin, certainly don’t discriminate, and are continuing to rise.
Beginning in the mid 1990s, pharmaceutical companies started the promotion of opioids as pain relievers. Medications include Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Kadian, codeine and other such drugs. The marketing of these drugs brought companies very large profits, but also some trouble. Back in 2007, top executives from Purdue Pharma, the company that makes the painkiller OxyContin, pled guilty in federal court to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the drug’s risk of addiction and its potential to be abused. They agreed to pay $600 million in fines, which was one of the biggest amounts paid by a drug company for such a case.
Why Do People Use Opioid Drugs Knowing These Facts?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, which is enough for every American adults to have a bottle of pills. We invite you to stop reading now and re-read that last sentence. As it often goes, Americans become addicted to these prescription pills and ultimately turn to heroin as a much cheaper alternative. There are programs, like needle exchanges that help reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis, that work to save lives, and others, like methadone clinics, that work to transition people off of heroin.
Narcan, a nasal form of the overdose prevention drug Nalaxone , approved by the FDA in 2015, is helping save lives. If you know someone who is addicted to opioid drugs, like heroin, please click here to find the nearest location to find one: Find Narcan Nasal Spray Near Me.
Related: How To Tell If Someone Is On Drugs
While the increased use of the Narcan can help prevent deaths from overdose, an education on the dangers of painkiller and heroin addiction are of the utmost importance. Do not let addiction hurt you or your loved ones. The Watershed can help. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now: 1-800-861-1768.