A Statement on the Coronavirus

ByNick Jones


How the Abuse of Prescription Pain Medications Can Lead To Heroin Use [Infographic]

Prescription Pain Medications

Many individuals who struggle with an addiction to heroin originally began by abusing prescription pain medications. All too often, people mistakenly believe that prescription painkillers are less addictive, dangerous or problematic than drugs like heroin, but the two are inextricably linked. The use of prescription pain medications can and often does lead to heroin use and addiction.

Prescription Pain Medications and Heroin Can Have a Lot in Common

Many prescription pain medications are opiates, which means that they reduce pain by attaching themselves to specific molecules called opioid receptors. Heroin is also an opiate, and it works in virtually the same way. Opiate addiction, whether a result of prescription pain medicine or heroin, is responsible for more than 29,000 overdose deaths every year.

Heroin is Cheaper than Prescription Opiates

Without insurance, or on the black market, prescription pain medications can be incredibly expensive. Patients who originally legitimately needed the medication, but are now addicted, can expect to pay around $60 for a single 60-milligram pill of an opiate painkiller. The equivalent amount of heroin, however, may be as little as one-tenth of the price. This significant price difference between the two substances means that financially-strapped individuals dealing with an addiction may be forced to purchase heroin in order to afford their next dose.

Prescription Drug Crackdowns Can Lead to Heroin Use Instead

According to the Center for Disease Control, a staggering 12 million Americans use prescription pain medications non-medically. This essentially means that they’re abusing the medication and may have an addiction. Sometimes, medical groups or cities will crack down on illegal prescriptions or sales of prescription painkillers. While this has positive intentions, unavailability of prescription opiates may cause some individuals to turn to heroin instead.

America Has a Serious Prescription Pain Medication Epidemic

The United States is home to roughly 5% of the world’s population. However, the nation is responsible for consuming more than 80% of the world’s supply of prescription painkillers. This is indicative of a serious addiction and opiate abuse problem in the United States, and it shows the scale of people who develop opiate addictions that can sometimes only be sated through heroin consumption.

Many People Who Use Prescription Painkillers Go on to Use Heroin

The transition from prescription pain medications to heroin isn’t rare or statistically insignificant. In fact, 1 in 15 people who take non-medical prescription pain medication will go on to try heroin within the next decade. With more than 12 million people taking prescription pain medications non-medically, this is a major issue that needs to be addressed.

Just because prescription pain medications can have a legitimate purpose, it doesn’t make them any less addictive or dangerous. Whether you’re struggling with an addiction to prescription medications or heroin, Recovery in Motion can help. Call (866) 418-1070 today to get the support and resources necessary to take back control over your life.

Accidental Addiction: How Opiate Addiction Can Begin [Infographic]

One of the reasons that accidental addiction are so widespread and problematic in the United States is that the addictions are often accidental. Individuals who may start out simply following their doctor’s orders can wind up abusing opiates, and it may not be through any fault or intent of their own. You need to better understand how accidental opiate addictions can begin in the United States and how you can combat them.

Rising Deaths and Exposure to Fentanyl

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is almost 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and 30-50 times more potent than heroin. Fentanyl is prescribed to patients who suffer from chronic-pain or pain related to end-of-life circumstances where their condition is terminal. When misused, this drug is incredibly deadly, even in very tiny doses. Its purest form is a grainy white powder, with crystals similar to that of table salt. Because many street drugs are “laced” with other components, illicit drug makers are starting to use fentanyl in their heroin manufacturing. This is causing people to accidentally overdose, not knowing that their street heroin contains fatal amounts of fentanyl.

Opiates are Prescribed by the Millions in the United States

In a given year in the United States, as many as 207 million prescriptions may be written for opiate painkillers. This is up substantially from 1991, when there were only 76 million annual prescriptions. Many of these prescriptions are legitimate, and are designed to help patients deal with pain after an accident or a surgery. Unfortunately, some of these prescriptions are illicit, and designed to help individuals sell opiate painkillers on the black market.

Opiate Creates the Need for Higher Doses

Even if patients begin taking opiate prescription medications legitimately and for medical reasons, they may begin to notice that their tolerance for the medicine increases over time. The typical amount for an adult to take when first beginning narcotic treatment for pain is 10 mg every 12 hours, or a total of 20 mg per day. While that may be sufficient to manage pain initially, some patients begin to need a higher dose due to an increased tolerance, which only strengthens a forming addiction and causes the body to rely on the opiates for pain relief and daily function.

Prolonged Opiate Medication Consumption Creates Accidental Addiction

Addiction is a medical illness, not something that people choose to pursue or a side effect of poor willpower. It’s recommended by many pharmacological experts that patients only take narcotic painkillers like opiate medications for less than 14 days, and some even argue that it should be limited to 3–7 days. Addiction can form in as little as 14 days, and taking prescription opiates even longer only makes the addiction stronger.

Alternative Opiate Sources are Sought Out

Whether cost or prescription access is a prohibitive factor, individuals who have learned to rely on opiate painkillers may begin to look for alternative sources to fuel their accidental addiction and prevent any pain from returning. Heroin can be one-tenth the price of medical opiates on the street, making them an appealing alternative for high-dose users.

Many Heroin Users Began With Prescription Drugs

Some studies show that more than half of current heroin users in the United States began by using prescription drugs. In fact, many people go back and forth, depending on availability. More options means more availability and fewer forced withdrawals.
Even if the formation of an addiction was accidental, it’s important to seek help. Recovery in Motion holds the key to helping you achieve lasting sobriety. Call (866) 418-1070 to break free from an opiate addiction and take back the life you deserve.

ByNick Jones


Are There Ways, Other than Medication, to Ease Opiate Withdrawal?

Over half of all drug overdose fatalities in the United States, today are the consequence of opiates. To break an addiction, withdrawal from opiates may be integral, but the cycle is also not always simple. To facilitate the withdrawal of opiates, the best option has always been to get help from medical professionals ‘ in an addiction treatment facility. Other than medication, there are some methods that can help to ease opiate withdrawal.

Hot Showers or Epsom Salt Baths Can Ease Opiate Withdrawal

One of the most helpful ways to ease the discomfort of an opium withdrawal is to take a hot bath or shower. The heat itself can be an excellent way to target muscle aches, as well as relieve the pain of restless leg syndrome.

Although showers may be more convenient, a hot bath can be an even better way to reduce some of the pain of opiate withdrawal. By floating even part of the body in the tub, individuals can relieve their muscles of stress. Adding Epsom salt to the water also aids in adding salt to the body, which it may be severely lacking thanks to dehydration.

Electrolyte Beverages

Just some of the most common side effects of an opiate withdrawal are nausea, extreme sweating, vomiting and diarrhea. Unfortunately, all of these symptoms add up to make individuals in withdrawal very dehydrated. Not only is hydration necessary, in the form of water or other fluids, but salts and electrolytes are vital to prevent dizziness and more nausea.

Electrolyte beverages that contain salt, magnesium and potassium may be very helpful in the fight to ease opiate withdrawal. They help restore the balance of electrolytes in the body while simultaneously aiding with re-hydration. Sports beverages are one excellent option, as are re-hydration shakes or even drinks for children such as Pedialyte.

Tasty Foods That Don’t Require Preparation

In an ideal world, those struggling to withdraw from opiates would eat healthy, nutritious meals three times a day. In reality, however, many individuals don’t have the energy or the desire to prepare healthy foods.

Rather than not eating at all, or feeling guilty about not wanting to prepare nutritious meals, prepare for withdrawal by purchasing enjoyable foods. Individuals who buy their favorite snacks or comfort foods will likely end up eating more, which can help through the withdrawal phase.

A Comfortable and Temperature-Controlled Environment

Without medication to ease opiate withdrawal, there will almost certainly be a level of pain and discomfort. However, a comfortable space can go a long way in easing that pain. A space that is temperature controlled and free from loud noises may be a help in withdrawal.

Opiate withdrawal is very challenging, but medical supervision means patients can get the medication and resources they need to minimize pain and even speed up the process. After withdrawal, rehab is vital. Recovery in Motion, located in Tucson, Arizona, is an affordable, reputable place to beat opiate addiction for good. Call (866) 418-1070 for details on how you can start fighting back against addiction.