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Does Prescription Opioid Abuse Lead to Heroin Use and Addiction?

heroin use and addiction, prescription opioid abuse

Prescription opioid abuse is a growing issue in the USA, Canada, and many other countries. Does this type of substance abuse lead to heroin use and addiction though? Prescription drug abuse may lead to heroin, especially when the individual can not obtain the prescription medication. Heroin use and addiction occurs in many cases because heroin is an opioid, the same as many prescription pain medications like Vicodin, Oxycontin, and others. In many areas heroin has a lower street price than prescription drugs, and it is often much easier to find as well. Once prescription opioid abuse starts then it can be very easy for the individual to go to heroin use and addiction as well, and this can continue a downward spiral that can be deadly.

Recent surveys show that around 50% of younger individuals who have injected heroin started out with prescription opioid use and then developed into heroin use and addiction. Many of these individuals reported that they switched from opioid prescription drugs to heroin because the heroin was less expensive and easier to obtain on a regular basis. When the prescription medications were abuse the survey participants reported crushing up the pills and then either snorting or injection the drug in order to get a better high. Once the participants started injecting the crushed opioid medications it was a short step to injecting heroin. If you or someone that you love abuses opioid prescription medications or heroin there is treatment available. It is possible to recover from substance abuse with the right treatment programs and methods.

 

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