In some areas of the United States, there has been increasing use of heroin amongst drugs users. Heroin is infamously known to be one of the most potent, addictive, and cheapest drugs out there. Heroin overdoses can and do cause death often, and addiction to these kinds of drugs (called opioids or opiates) are considered the hardest addictions to kick, according to drug experts. With such a bad reputation, the question stands as to why so many people are turning to heroin addiction to satisfy their drug cravings?
The answer lies in the drug trends the country has witnessed in the last decade or so. The process was slowly taking place as pills were distributed in great numbers, causing many to fall into painkiller medications. Prescription painkillers made a huge entrance in the early 90s as new combinations, strengths and brands were introduced to the market for long-term chronic pain management. The industry boomed when popular demand for these drugs sky rocketed. It was already too late when the country realized the pain killers which were meant to do good, had actually caused a hell storm of addictions and death.
Now, deaths due to overdose on these painkillers has become such a problem that the number outranks the death toll of any two other drugs, and even more than can be accounted for due to automobile accidents. The big names such as oxycodone are highly addictive substances, and due to the fact that doctors prescribe the drugs to be taken on a daily, even twice on daily basis or more, addiction can set in very quickly. When used outside of doctor-prescribed orders, also called abuse, the addictive tendencies were equally as powerful, if not more so.
The problem with prescription painkillers, in the drug user’s eyes is the cost involved with procuring them without a prescription. While those who do have prescriptions might pay anywhere from nothing to $100 dollars a bottle for the pills, those who score the drugs from the street pay around $40 per pill. The high price comes from the difficulty in getting prescribed the drugs, which is the danger involved with selling them (since it is illegal), and the incredibly high demand means that dealers are almost always and quickly sold out.
This is where heroin comes in. Heroin is an opiate drug, in the same classification as the opiates used in painkillers. It is more powerful than the pills, and $40 worth can reportedly last an individual three days opposed to a few hours. While drug users might perceive this trade off as a good thing (after all they are finding a cheaper more available and more powerful drug) the sad reality is that heroin can destroy lives just as quickly as pain killers. Many are worried that as the government cracks down even harder on who can be prescribed painkillers, more will turn to heroin as a stand-in drug.
All around, the musical chairs game between these drugs is highly lethal, highly addictive and frightening when considering that regardless of law enforcement intervention and healthcare reform, there can be no real end or answer to this problem without the help and the determination of each and every single citizen.