Drugs have been around for centuries and will be here till the end of time. Anything that can change and alter the mind of humans will be abused. The problem with drugs is that there is always a consequence to altering one's brain chemicals. If you desire the high of a drug, you have to accept the fact that there will be a low afterwards. Brain chemicals fluctuate when a foreign drug is ingested. Opiate addicts normally increase their dosages as tolerance builds. They "chase the high" hoping to get the euphoria without the deadly consequence of overdosing. The longer an addict uses drugs, the longer it takes the brain chemicals to return to their normal state which is why addicts have extreme withdrawal symptoms. Many addicts no longer take their drugs to get high, they take their drugs to avoid withdrawals.
Drugs work the same way in everyone's body. It does not matter what race, gender, religious preference or financial status you are...drugs do not discriminate. Drugs will eventually destroy each and every addicts life. Now for some it may take longer because they have the means to hide it better or they have the finances to sustain their addiction. Eventually, the drug will take over completely and if it does not kill you first, it will leave you alone, broke and or in jail.
Opiates have been a popular drug for over a decade and have swept over every mountain, valley, and street from big cities to the smallest cul-de-sacs in the suburbs. There is no place in the United States that has not been directly affected by the hurt, anguish and death that these drugs bring.
It starts off in most addicts' lives by taking prescription painkillers. Painkillers over the past decade have been prescribed at alarming rates and in larger dosages. Many of the ailments that people receive opiate prescriptions for are not what they were intended for. Strong narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin were originally created to help terminally ill cancer patients. These drugs had an honorable role by providing the terminally ill with peace and to allow them to pass without feeling immense pain. What transpired was these medications gained popularity because of how they made people feel and doctors began to prescribe the pills for chronic pain.
Many strong prescription painkillers were never meant to be prescribed for chronic pain. In fact, many pharmaceutical companies have been sued because their medications have caused overdoses and have created an epidemic of addicts. Pharmaceutical companies went ahead and pushed the medications to doctors and asked them to prescribe their patients with chronic pain their drug when they knew it would not help the patient! Though opiate painkillers might help mask the pain, they don't fix the underlying problem that causes the pain in the first place.
Prescription painkillers began to flood the streets and started to take the lives of people who were abusing them. After the government demanded stricter prescribing practices and demanded that pharmaceutical companies change their medication formulas to make them tamper proof, a new problem arrived. Since many different types of painkillers were no longer desired, the pills that were desired (because of their lack of tamper proofing) price skyrocketed. Pills that used to cost $20 per pill on the black market were now costing $30 to $35 per pill and that caused addicts to switch to heroin. Although heroin is much more dangerous, the benefit to the addict is that it provides a high that is just as strong as painkillers but for a fraction of the price. This is what has brought us to the present day. We are a very diverse country that is addicted to heroin and opiates and this epidemic is not going away anytime soon.