You may think that going from prescription painkillers to heroin is a stretch of the imagination. This is not true, though. Today millions of Americans are prescribed painkillers for problems such as acute pain from accidents or surgery, chronic pain of backaches or other old injuries, and also pain from cancer or other terminal illnesses. As time goes on, individuals develop a tolerance to these drugs if they take them for an extended period of time. They may start taking more than prescribed or taking the doses closer together than prescribed. They also enjoy the euphoric effects of the painkillers and many times want to take the drug for this reason.
Tolerance Develops to Prescription Painkillers
Prescription drugs such as painkillers which are opiates or opioids are monitored more closely today than they were in years past. When someone develops a tolerance to these drugs, they no longer ease the pain as they did when the patient was first prescribed the drug. When this happens, they have to ask for more or stronger doses from their physician. If the physician thinks that the patient is becoming dependent on the drug, they may not prescribe it any longer.
If this happens, the individual may start “doctor shopping” (going from doctor to doctor) to obtain the amount of the drug they desire. This is also not as easy as it was in years past. The Federal Government monitors opiates and opioids very closely today in order to prevent “doctor shopping” from happening.
Buying Prescription Painkillers Illegally
Prescription painkillers are much more expensive when purchased illegally than if the user has a prescription for them. If the user has become physically dependent on them, they will have withdrawal symptoms when they cannot obtain more. Therefore, they spend money which they should be spending for other obligations to procure these drugs illegally. Once this starts, the user is more than likely addicted to the painkillers. Their main concern at this point is obtaining the prescription drugs.
After they start spending money which should be used for other obligations, they will also start borrowing money which will never be repaid. When friends and family stop loaning money to the addict, they will start stealing money or stealing other valuables from friends and family in order to obtain the painkillers. Now they are at the point of lying, stealing, and doing whatever is necessary in order to obtain their drug of choice.
Switching to Heroin Abuse from Painkiller Addiction
Why would anyone want to use heroin when they are obviously addicted to their painkillers? There are actually many reasons for this. Heroin is much cheaper on the street than painkillers are, and heroin is much easier to obtain, because of the price as well as the availability. Heroin is also an opiate which means that people get the same effects from heroin as they do from prescription painkillers. They get the same euphoria along with the feelings of well-being and pain relief.
Heroin addiction is harder to hide than painkiller addiction. Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or added to a liquid and injected. When someone is injecting heroin, they have “track marks” which they try to hide by wearing long pants or long sleeves. They do this even in the hot weather.
Dangers of Heroin
There are many dangerous side-effects of heroin abuse. If someone is injecting this drug, they face the chances of contracting Hepatitis C from using dirty needles. You also face the risk of HIV/Aids and many other diseases from the dirty needles or having sex with someone who has these diseases. You risk having bacterial infections of the blood vessels or other blood-borne diseases.
Help for Prescription Painkiller or Heroin Addiction
If you have developed an addiction to prescription painkillers or heroin, don’t wait and put your life at risk. Seek help today in an addiction treatment center where you can safely detox from the substance and go through an addiction treatment program. Once you get on the path to recovery, you will realize that you never want to go back to searching for painkillers or heroin. Take your life back today by enrolling in an inpatient addiction treatment facility.