In Some Regions of US, Heroin Abuse Worse and First Time Users Younger

young woman suffering from heroin addiction

It was bad enough that millions of US teens were abusing prescription drugs in increasing numbers over the last decade. Now, many of them are switching to heroin at a very young age, younger than ever seen before. While this fact may take some people by surprise, it was a completely predictable outcome of the effort to make OxyContin harder to abuse.

Purdue Pharmaceutical began to ship a new version of OxyContin that was bound to a plastic-like substance. The drug was supposed to be released over time once it was in the body but the pill could not be ground up and snorted or smoked.

It’s bad enough that new reports show heroin abuse worse; first-time users being younger just makes everything worse.

Laws Have Been Changing to Eliminate Abuse

At almost the same time Purdue released its new less-abusable opiate drug, the State of Florida finally changed its laws so that there was far less OxyContin on the street to abuse. Within the first few months after the laws changed in 2011, the quantity of OxyContin purchased by doctors in the state plummeted more than 90%.

Many other states have prescription monitoring programs so they can tell if any individuals are visiting multiple doctors to get enough pills to abuse or sell. Pharmacies are then required to refuse to dispense these drugs to anyone who appears to be trying to circumvent the law.

What all this means is that a person who wants to abuse this drug, who is addicted to opioids or who wants to try an opioid for the first time is probably going to reach for heroin instead of prescription opioid. While the abuse of any opioid is dangerous and can be fatal, using heroin instead of a prescription drug adds the additional elements of possible damaging contamination and uncertain dosages that can easily result in overdoses.

In Columbus, Ohio, the number of young people being treated for heroin addiction are quickly decreasing in age, and the National Drug Intelligence Center notes that there are increasing amounts of heroin in circulation in the Chicago and Lake County areas. In the San Diego area too, drug courts are trying to divert these youthful addicts into other programs rather than putting them in jail. These signs of increased heroin addiction and younger first-time users is an alarming statistic that should drive parents to talk to their children about drug abuse.

Narconon Program Can Help Addicted Individuals Recover

Anyone who has been addicted to opioids knows the cravings they cause. Many rehabs prescribe other drugs that are addictive as a way of relieving the cravings for more opioids. This drugging may start as soon as the person walks in the door and last long after they leave rehab.

At Narconon, the New Life Detoxification, which uses moderate exercise, sweating in a sauna, and generous nutritional supplementation, has been shown to greatly change the heroin addict’s recovery experience. This combination activates the body’s ability to detoxify drug residues left behind after a body has broken down and eliminated most of the drug. These residues can make it impossible for a person to remain sober as the residues are involved in the triggering of cravings. The Narconon sauna program flushes out old toxins, resulting in clearer, faster thinking. Those completing this step talk about how their cravings are much lower, sometimes even gone completely.

The Narconon program can help a person with heroin addiction. Call today to learn how.


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AUTHOR

Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.