Ask anyone with a heroin addiction and you may be surprised at just how this addiction started. Most of the time heroin abuse and addiction does not start with this drug, the problem begins with other drugs and then the user turns to heroin because of the difficulty in obtaining opiate prescription medications. Many people who struggle with heroin addiction started out using pain medication for legitimate medical reasons. Prescription pain medications are given for dental work, teeth extractions, pulled muscles, moderate sprains, and many other reasons. Vicodin, drugs that contain codeine, and other opiate class medications are only available with a prescription from a medical or dental professional. Even when these drugs are used as directed and they are needed for pain management the risk of addiction is still high, and many find themselves becoming dependent after even a short period of use.
Heroin addiction occurs when an individual who is hooked on prescription pain medications can not get the drug that they have been using. Since heroin is also an opiate drug it is often substituted when doctor shopping and other methods of obtaining the desired prescription are not possible. The user starts heroin in order to get the same high and effects that they get from the prescription medications, and heroin on the street can cost much less than prescription drugs. A heroin addiction develops and then the user may switch back and forth, using prescription paid medications when these are available and turning to heroin bought on the street when necessary.