Opiate addicts who have switched from taking narcotic painkillers are now turning their attention to heroin. Researchers are looking for clues that will help them understand why opiate addiction is making people try out heroin. After conducting extensive interviews the researchers found that almost fifty percent of opiate addicts were moving away from narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin to heroin. Each of these dangerous drugs is derived from opiates. About seventy-five percent of the people interviewed said that heroin was cheaper and easily available and these were the factors that were making them interested in using heroin.
The only trouble with this way of thinking is that heroin is a very dangerous drug – far more than prescription painkillers, which are otherwise called opioid painkillers.
Heroin is more addictive and in addition it is hard to tell how pure the heroin that you are consuming is and this is what leads to greater instances of overdoses. The White House has determined that people are abusing both narcotic painkillers as well as heroin and this problem has assumed epidemic proportions in the United States.
In the recent past more and more people have taken to heroin use. The rise in heroin abuse began soon after the government put a stop to pill mills. As soon as the government began to come down hard on doctors who were illegally prescribing painkillers, there was a rise in cases of heroin abuse. The government action only ended up making it hard for people to lay their hands on prescription drugs and so to get their fix people began to use heroin, which was cheaper and easier to obtain.
At about the same time changes were made to painkiller formulations in a bid to curtail abuse. With a decrease in availability of narcotic painkillers came a rise in heroin abuse. The simple truth is that the cost of prescription narcotics is so high and at the same time they are not easily available. People who otherwise would not have considered using heroin had no option but to give it a try. The lower price and easy availability were the single most important driving forces.
Even so, not many people have completed the switch from narcotic prescriptions to heroin. The reason for this is that these people do not want to be labeled as typical drug addicts.
The Northeast is the region that sees the highest number of people making the switch from narcotic prescriptions to heroin. The East and the West Coast sees widespread use of both narcotic prescriptions and heroin. In the Midwest and the South more people use narcotic prescriptions and the number of heroin users in this part of the country is relatively low.
Heroin abuse is really dangerous, especially because addicts tend to share their needles among each other. This makes it more likely that they can transmit diseases to each other. Hepatitis C and HIV are the two most commonly transmitted diseases.
In the year 2014 there were twenty percent fewer people who used painkillers exclusively. At the same time, heroin and painkillers usage rose by about 18 percent. The government has enticed major drug companies, and leading pharmacies as well as law enforcement agencies to curtail the use of narcotic painkillers and heroin.