Addicts who abuse prescription painkillers often turn to heroin as well. This phenomenon has plagued society for the last several years. Some people insist that in order to reduce heroin addiction in the country, the prescription painkiller epidemic must be solved first. Others caution that by making prescription painkillers harder to obtain, that policy makers will drive users to toward heroin. In order to develop the best plan of attack for reducing heroin and prescription painkiller abuse, ongoing studies are being conducted and analyzed on different demographics that abuse these types of drugs.
One recent study shows that veterans are more likely to use heroin if they have misused prescription painkillers in the past. Veteran healthcare, including mental health, has been an ongoing concern of late, as they deserve the best care our nation can provide. Veterans and other people who present with suspicious behavior regarding their prescription painkillers should be more closely monitored by medical professionals for potential heroin abuse in the future. The results of this study appear in the journal Addiction.
“Our findings demonstrate a pattern of transitioning from non-medical use of prescription opioids to heroin use that has only been demonstrated in select populations. Our findings are unique in that our sample of individuals consisted of patients who were receiving routine medical care for common medical conditions,” explained David Fiellin, the co-author of the study.
This specific information and method of study can now also be applied to other groups to better document the link of painkillers and heroin addiction. As more information is gathered about the transition into heroin abuse, the more specialized prevention programs can be.
For people who do become dependent on opiates, including veterans and other populations, should seek out effective addiction treatment programs such as Desert Cove Recovery.