Heroin is a rising epidemic in the U.S. In fact, in 2015 alone, there were more than 12,000 deaths due to heroin overdoses according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s a deadly killer, but what has made it so popular? It wasn’t always this way, there have always been drugs that were more popular. But seemingly overnight, heroin has become the hot drug in the news and in the papers.
Heroin is an opioid that is made from morphine, which is a natural substance. It’s taken from an opium poppy that is grown mostly in the Middle East, most notably in Afghanistan. This drug is terribly addicting. It’s also easy to spike with other drugs, which can make it even stronger. If heroin is spiked with something like fentanyl, it can become a deadly mix. If the user isn’t aware of the extra additives, they can easily overdose.
The reason people are turning to heroin is that prescription opioids have become harder to get. Pills like Oxycontin were relatively easy to get at pill mills. In fact, the Guardian wrote a story deeming Florida as the “Oxy Express.”Once the government realized that it was easy to get pain pills, they made laws making it much harder. Pharmacies and doctors were given harsher rules and some doctors were even arrested for their liberal use of prescription opioids on their patients.
Drugs like OxyContin were ripe for abuse. According to the LA Times, these drugs were marketed to last 12 hours, but the pain relief didn’t last that long. This led to people taking pills early, slowly building up a tolerance to the drug. This frequently led to people developing a dependency on the drug. Once the laws came into place to protect supplies of opioids, people became desperate. The supply of the drug from pharmacies and the street markets fell and the prices skyrocketed. It became cheaper and more effective to use heroin.
This rise in heroin use has led to plenty of overdoses and addictions around the country. It’s also led to heroin becoming more of a middle and upper-class drug rather than just a poverty drug. It’s led to a terribly high increase in drug trafficking and the production and shipment of even worse drugs like fentanyl.
Chapters Capistrano can help people with all types of opioid addictions. Make sure to call us if you need help. No matter if you’ve made it through the pain pill to heroin cycle or not.