It seems that all too often once one hurdle is leaped over, there is another one just ahead. As major efforts to crackdown on the prescription drug abuse epidemic have finally been showing results, another drug problem re-emerges. The number of heroin deaths in America is climbing quickly as a direct result. As individuals who are addicted to prescription opiates frantically scurry to find a replacement, many turn to heroin. Heroin is much cheaper and much easier to find these days. There were many efforts that went into slowing down of prescription drug abuse. In 2011 a law was passed in Maryland, which demanded that pharmacies keep a log of prescriptions filled within a database that can be viewed by other doctors and prescribers.
This system should be ready to go by late 2013 and may very well be a valuable means of prescription drug abuse prevention. The release of a new version of Oxycontin has also played a major role in this crackdown. This new formula makes it nearly impossible for addicts to crush the pill, which is necessary I order to snort, smoke or inject it.
Why Heroin, Exactly?
Why would an Oxycontin addict turn to heroin? The answer is simple: it’s cheaper. Once you’re addicted to prescription painkillers, your tolerance begins to build over time, until the amount of painkillers you need to take to feel the desired affects becomes extremely expensive and unaffordable. In fact, someone addicted to prescription may need to take around six or seven pills per day to stay high.
Surprisingly, those same pills can be sold for a gram of heroin, which would supply an addict with a high for three to four days. This is a much more convention means of getting high, many have found. These particular types of drugs can cause physical dependence and my lead to addiction in some people. Someone who is abusing prescription painkillers may take a larger dosage in order to achieve a more euphoric effect or to lessen withdrawal symptoms. So, you can see how you would have to take more and more, which would inevitably increase the cost of keeping up with the addiction.
Early Intervention is Key
Early intervention is key in keeping abusers from becoming addicted to prescription painkillers in the first place. There are several warning signs that may indicate whether someone is abusing these drugs:
• Change in personality
• Withdrawal from friends and family
• Increased usage of their medication
• Continued use of the drug even after medical condition has improved
• Change in daily habits and appearance
• Neglect of responsibilities
• Forgetfulness and/or blackouts
In the case that you notice any of these indicators, don’t hesitate to address the situation immediately. Once addiction spirals out of control, it becomes more difficult to work with the addict. If assistance is needed, there are many drug treatment facilities available to work with the addict in regaining his or her sobriety.
The best way to approach a user is with care and love in order to help them. Be stern and do not give up in getting them to agree to treatment. Bring in family or other loved ones if necessary or hold a family intervention. If this does not work hire a professional intervention service that will work with both the family and user and help him or her enroll in a program.
Even though it may be a challenge, don’t give up. For more information contact www.narcononeastus.org.