Opiate addiction has taken your town by storm. Most people know at least one person who has been affected by opiate abuse. Whether the person you know is abusing themselves or if someone close to them is the abuser. It takes our best friends, wives or husbands, co-workers and family members away from us. I personally have lost more friends than I care to share to opiate addiction. I have witnessed first hand what my addiction did to those closest to me and no matter what family and friends say to the addict, if they are not ready to get clean, it will go in one ear and right out the other.
A major cause for the opiate epidemic the nation is facing today is due to prescription painkillers. The use of these drugs surged in the early 2000's. The popularity of drugs like Oxycontin and Roxicet was off the charts. It became the go-to drug for many drug addicts. Young teens started to steal Oxycodone or Hydrocodone from their parent's medicine cabinets and bringing them to share with friends. Peer pressure was huge and is still very strong today.
Doctors began to over-prescribe the medications at alarming rates. Pill mills in Florida were pumping out large quantities of these drugs into the black market. People from all over the country would drive or fly to Florida and bring the drugs back to their hometowns to distribute. The black market business of selling these drugs was and still is very lucrative today. We began to find these drugs in the smallest towns all over the country. No town has been untouched by the surge of opiate abuse.
Drug abusers began using oxycodone and hydrocodone as a recreational drug. Many of these abusers were unaware that the pills can be addicting. It was very common for people to use these drugs for a month straight due to the way they made them feel. Opiate abuse is also relatively cheap for the low dosages needed in the beginning to obtain the euphoric feeling. Once they stopped for a day and became violently ill, many were unaware that they were going through opiate withdrawal. Many had no idea what withdrawals were in the fist place. We started to see people close to us change their behavior and start to destroy their lives to get these pills. Even more alarming was the amount of people that started to die from opiate overdoses.
Local and state governments started to request changes to the pharmaceutical drugs. Tamper proof forms of these pills became very popular in defeating the abuse. What many professionals expected to be a good thing, actually may have fueled a more dangerous alternative. Heroin production, distribution and use exploded. This made it very clear that no matter what stands in the way of an addict, they will find a way to get high. When the prices of prescription pills on the black market soared, users looked for alternatives. When users had a hard time with the tamper proof pills, they also looked for alternatives. Many painkiller addicts realized that the prices were too high, and the tamper proofing made them difficult to abuse. A lot of addicts made the jump to heroin. This is where we stand today. Heroin is everywhere. It is the purest and cheapest that law enforcement has ever seen. The demand for heroin is also as high as it's ever been. So the moral of the story is, we can change drugs and try to make them tamper proof. We can even raise the prices and the addicts will always find a new way to get high.