Years ago, heroin was thought of as the worst drug, and heroin addiction was the worst kind of addiction. It was associated with dark alleys, dealers, bare mattresses on floors, and all the typical sordid drug scenes. Things are not good today either, leading more and more people to addiction and, ultimately, heroin treatment centers.
Why Is Heroin Addiction So Much More Common Now Than It Used To Be?
For one thing, taking drugs is more common in general. Drugs used to be hard to find. Now they’re available in every school yard across the US. They’re in every college, every bar, and every nightclub. Chances are they’ll be at any party – whether the party is for teenagers or baby boomers, someone there will have drugs of some sort. And chances are there will be more than one person who is addicted to something.
People have gotten used to drugs. They are not feared the way they used to be. They’ve become part of our society. Big pharma has done its best and spent billions of dollars to make drugs into the treatment of choice for every condition we have. Whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional, pharmaceutical companies make sure we think drugs are the answer.
So, it’s only natural that drug abuse would spread. And heroin addiction spread right along with it.
How Does Heroin Addiction Happen?
Often the person who tries heroin is experimenting. They’re offered the drug by someone at school or a friend or associate. They try it, and they like it. But almost no one thinks when they first start taking it that they will develop a heroin addiction. And it doesn’t take long.
It’s especially dangerous when someone is predisposed to addiction by having problems in life that are bothering them. With heroin, you’re pretty much not bothered by anything. Someone who’s looking to escape from something in life that’s confusing or painful – emotionally or physically – finds relief with heroin.
And then they keep taking it. At first, it’s just so they can continue to feel that way. But after a while, they don’t have any choice. Their body is dependent on it, and they feel so bad when they don’t take it that it’s almost impossible to stop.
Can heroin addiction start with prescription drugs?
Yes. Many people who have taken prescription painkillers switch to heroin. Painkillers like OxyContin, hydrocodone, Percocet, and Vicodin, for example, are basically legal heroin. A doctor can’t prescribe heroin, but he can prescribe OxyContin.
Sometimes people take OxyContin or a similar prescription painkiller when it’s prescribed by their doctor after an injury, illness, or surgery. But, like heroin, those drugs are also highly addictive. Even someone who’s taking them exactly as the doctor told them to can get addicted.
But that prescription is only going to last so long. Eventually, the person is going to have to get their drugs elsewhere. OxyContin and other prescription painkillers can be very expensive – heroin is cheaper and, sometimes, even easier to get. The OxyContin addiction then becomes a heroin addiction. It’s really the same thing. Just the name of the drug has changed.