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When Prescription Opiates and Opioids Become a Heroin Addiction


The all-too-common story of innocently going from a daily Vicodin or Percocet (Opiate & Opioids) pain regimen into a full-blown heroin addiction – almost overnight!

I am eternally grateful my doctor never prescribed pain pills for my back, before or after my surgery. The most I took was ibuprofen and drank some wine, but thankfully never lead to any substance abuse. Unfortunately, too many people aren’t as lucky as me. Pain Management has become a common medical practice and a pathway to drug addiction. Doctors prescribing opiates and opioids are not resolving the source of the pain, but rather numbing it, and worse off, they are opening the door for their patients’ chemical dependency, especially heroin, that could be fatal. In order to curb opioid abuse and eliminate pill mills, many states have been registering pain clinics and electronically monitoring prescription drugs to help reduce use of these opioid narcotics.

I am not trying to be an alarmist, just a realist sounding off on America’s new epidemic – opioids and opiates. Opioids are natural or synthetic chemicals that bind to receptors in your brain or body. Heroin and prescription drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl are considered opioids. You may have heard of fentanyl in the news recently, since that is what caused Prince’s death. Fentanyl is fifty times stronger than heroin. Prince had been to many different doctors around the country and was able to get opioids from a number of them since there is no central database for drug prescriptions.

In 2014, more than 28,000 people died from opioid overdose, and at least half of those deaths involved a prescription opioid. In 2014, more than 10,500 people died from heroin.

It’s not just those on prescribed painkillers that are at risk of drug addiction. Too many adolescents, teens and young adults are abusing prescription drugs which include narcotic painkillers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants. There are several ways prescription drug abuse begins:

  • Taking someone else’s prescription drug
  • Taking a larger dose than prescribed
  • Using the medication in a different way than prescribed such as crushing tablets and then snorting or injecting them
  • Using the medicine to get high

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with prescription drugs. The substance abuse too often leads to drug addiction and when there are no more prescription drugs to be had, too often people resort to street drugs such as heroin and crack. There is a hardly a city in the US that is not dealing with a drug overdose crisis, typically from opioids like heroin.

For more information on medical detoxification services for heroin, opiates, opioids or any other classification of drugs or alcohol, contact Valley Detox Center in Los Angeles, California 24/7 at: (888) 544-6049.


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