Drug addiction continues to be a serious issue within the United States. While many individuals may become addicted due to using and/or misusing prescription pain medication, others become addicted due to experimenting with illicit drugs such as heroin. It’s important to note that there is a known connection between heroin usage and prescription pain medication.
Prescription Pain Medications and Heroin
When someone has misused prescription painkillers, they often begin using heroin. Recent data shows that this is the case with four out of every five new heroin users. Furthermore, estimates indicate that 23% of heroin users will develop an opioid addiction. Drugs such as fentanyl are a serious concern. This is due to the fact that this synthetic opioid is even stronger than morphine. In some instances, it can be as much as 100 times more powerful.
Substance Use Disorders
In 2015, 20.5 million people within this country were diagnosed with a substance use disorder. This includes children as young as 12 years of age. Two million of these cases involved prescription pain relievers, and 591,000 involved heroin.
During the following year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that approximately 11.5 million people 12 and older misused prescription pain medicine alone. This does not include the number of Americans that used heroin or other illicit drugs.
Overdoses and Overdose-Related Deaths
Addiction is obviously a serious mental, emotional, and physical issue. Overdoses, many of which result in death, are quite prevalent. There were over 63,600 deaths that occurred within 2016 that were due to overdoses. This included 42,249 that involved opioids, with an average of 115 per day.
Learn More About Available Drug Treatment Programs
Is someone in your family misusing prescription pain medicine or using other types of dangerous drugs? Since this can create a serious health risk for them and adversely affect an entire family, it’s important to encourage them to receive drug treatment. While some people in this situation may be aware they have an issue and are willing to receive drug treatment, others may obviously need more persuading or a serious intervention.
When you contact a local drug abuse treatment center, the staff will be able to provide you with detailed information on their available treatment programs. At this time, you can discuss your concerns and ask for advice on the best way to proceed. Since this is obviously a challenging time on multiple levels, it’s important to remember that the drug rehabilitation center’s staff is there to provide you with support as well..