In the mid-1990s, pharmaceutical companies released opioid painkiller medications — specifically OxyContin. They pushed this medication heavily, ensuring medical professionals it was safe to use and entirely non-addictive. Unfortunately, in reality, prescription opioids were (and are) extremely addictive. Because they were being prescribed so widely in many areas throughout the country, thousands of unwitting men and women quickly developed opioid dependencies. Over time, as more innocent people became addicted and lost their lives to opioid overdose, government officials began to crack down on distribution. But, unfortunately, by this time, it was too late — there were already thousands (if not millions) of opioid addiction cases ravaging communities across the U.S. Rather than seek professional help for their opioid addictions, these Americans simply turned to heroin — a more affordable and easily accessible alternative.
Direct Link Between Prescription Opioid Abuse And Heroin Addiction?
To this day, countless cases of heroin addiction stem from an initial introduction to prescription painkillers. There is a direct link between prescription opioid abuse and heroin addiction. If you have been prescribed an opioid painkiller for a legitimate medical reason, it is important to fully understand how addiction develops. Even if you are aware of the dangers involved in painkiller use, you are still susceptible to developing physical and psychological dependence. Be sure to consult with your prescribing physician and let them know if you have any addiction in your family. There are also other prescription drugs that are connected with helping heroin addiction including Buprenorphine.
Opioid Narcotic Painkillers – A True Gateway Drug
You might have heard the term “gateway drug” in relation to marijuana. Some people believe that if you use marijuana, you are essentially opening yourself up to misuse other illegal drugs like heroin, methamphetamine e, and cocaine. In reality, the only true gateway drug is prescription medication. This is true for opioid painkillers and for prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin.
The Risk of Developing Physical And Psychological Dependence After Addictive Medication Use
When a person has prescribed an addictive medication for a legitimate medical condition, they are always at risk of developing physical and psychological dependence, even if they have no pre-existing risk factors or personal history with substance misuse. This is partly because physical tolerance develops extremely quickly. For example, say a young man is prescribed hydrocodone after experiencing a sports-related injury. He develops a physical tolerance within several days, meaning the prescribed dose is no longer effective. Rather than consulting with his doctor, he takes matters into his own hands and increases his daily dose by 10mg. Within two more weeks, he decides to increase his dose by another 10mg and 20mg. Within one month he has developed a physical dependence, and when his prescription runs out he experiences symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal — he becomes dope sick. Rather than detox, he asks a friend how he can feel better quickly. His friend tells him to try snorting some heroin. Eventually, he finds heroin, and within several weeks he is using this illegal drug intravenously.
Evoke Wellness at Miramar and Opioid Addiction Recovery
At Evoke Wellness Miramar, we specialize in treating opioid use disorders of all types and severities. We are well aware of the correlation between painkiller use and heroin addiction. Therefore, we offer several educational workshops to teach our clients about the risks involved in taking addictive medications. Whether you or your loved one has been struggling with painkiller addiction or heroin addiction, we are available to help. Our recovery program in Miramar is effective and individualized, and we consistently take the unique personal needs of each client into careful account. As a result, over the past several years, we have become a trusted leader in opioid addiction recovery in South Florida, and we have helped countless men and women overcome addiction and go on to lead the happy, fulfilling, and drug-free lives they deserve.
Evoke Wellness at Miramar Has Specialists Ready to Help with One Phone Call
As soon as you decide to reach out for help, we will be there. We will walk you through each step of our admissions process and ensure you are well on your way to receiving the quality professional help you need. All you need to do is decide to reach out, pick up the phone, and ask one of our addiction specialists about our opioid addiction recovery program. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you get started on the road to addiction recovery as soon as possible.