Prescription drug addiction has been a troubling problem that has grown rapidly over the past decade. This has led to more fatalities involving prescription drugs, and as a result the medical community has responded with new guidelines about how prescription drugs should be prescribed, particularly targeted towards stopping patients who doctor shop for prescription drugs.
While the rise of fatalities associated with prescription drug abuse has grown, another serious issue that has been raised is prescription drug addiction as a gateway drug to heroin addiction.
How People Become Addicted
Generally painkillers, or prescriptions drugs that are prescribed to people who are dealing with chronic pain, are the drugs that people get addicted to the most. While the prescription painkillers are only meant to help the patient temporarily cope with the chronic pain after a surgery or some other issue, sometimes patients end up developing dependencies on the drugs and how they make them feel.
As a result, even after they’re supposed to stop taking the drugs, people will seek other ways to procure the drugs. When truly addicted, they will go to great lengths to get the painkillers, including going from doctor to doctor.
The medical community has sought ways to combat this issue, including creating a database that will show the history of a person’s prescription to drugs. And doctors are being asked not to prescribe prescription painkillers to people without first meeting with them.
These changes will hopefully start lowering the amount of people who abuse prescription drugs.
Other Types Of Prescription Drugs
Unfortunately, prescription painkillers aren’t the only prescription drugs that people develop dependencies on. A growing number of teenagers are also using drugs like Adderall illegally to help them lose weight and stay awake longer to do well in school.
What these people don’t realize is how dangerous illegally taking prescription drugs can be. When prescribed, the drugs are generally subscribed to be within a safe dosage for each person. However, when these prescription drugs are taken illegally, they can cause fatal overdoses.
Even worse, is when people take the drug with alcohol or another type of drug, which can be incredibly dangerous. Many of the fatalities associated with prescription drugs were due to mixing drugs and alcohol.
The Gateway Drug To Heroin
Besides the serious safety issues that surround abuse of prescription drugs, there is also the issue of the meds acting as a gateway drug to heroin. There are several reasons for this.
One is that when people start forming chemical dependencies that produce feelings of euphoria and happiness, they will seek out other ways to experience those feelings, which inevitably leads to illegal street drugs like heroin.
Another reason is that people actually get many of their prescription drugs from other family members or friends who share their supply. So contrary to popular belief, the flow of many of these drugs are between family members and friends and not due to drug dealers distributing the drugs.
However this leads to the issue of prescription drug addiction being the beginning of even more serious addictions. Once someone has decided that drug usage is an integral part of their lifestyle then they will naturally seek to find more ways to recapture those feelings more intensely, which is where heroin comes in.
Because on the other hand, sober people who don’t abuse prescription drugs, don’t consider drug usage to be an integral part of their lifestyle, and won’t be as likely to start taking a dangerous street drug like heroin. Plus people who willfully ignore the health risks associated with mixing prescription drugs and taking them on their own, already are willing to put dangerous substances in their body, regardless of the health risks.