Heroin was a very popular drug back in the 1960s and ’70s, and although the drug seemed to lose its appeal for several decades, heroin has been emerging as the drug of choice in recent years. The disturbing trend that police, prosecutors and treatment centers have noticed is that heroin is most popular among teens and young adults, especially those who come from affluent, suburban neighborhoods.
Why Heroin is Seeing Growing Numbers
The River Source shares these seem findings, as we have worked with many young heroin addicts over the past few years, seeing firsthand how heroin is gaining back much of its appeal. After the 1970s, heroin started to become less popular because it was considered a ‘dirty drug. It was difficult to administer, required the use of needles and left behind track marks. But today’s heroin is purer than in the past, allowing users to snort or smoke the drug instead of administering it intravenously. Therefore, users feel that they are using a ‘cleaner’ drug.
There are other reasons why heroin is becoming increasingly frequent among today’s youth. Many of our own young addicts have shared the following motives for using the drug:
- Heroin is cheap. It costs as little as $5 to get high, whereas a pain pill can cost as much as $80.
- Heroin mimics the same effects as the pain medication OxyContin. When addicts can’t get their hand on OxyContin, they can easily turn to heroin for the same effects.
- Because of the prevalence of heroin, it’s more common to be found at teen parties. All it takes is one time, and the addiction can be lifelong.
Heroin is A Logical Drug Choice After Prescription Painkillers
It’s almost impossible to speak of the heroin problem without talking about the prescription drug problem. Even though heroin is cheaper and easier to buy, there is one underlying factor that has made this drug spiral back into power, and that factor is prescription drugs. Nearly all of the patients who we treat at The River Source from heroin addiction did not go directly to this street drug. They started with the most unlikely source: their family’s medicine cabinet.
When teens are curious about trying drugs, they look for the easiest, safest route first. They look in their own homes, ask friends or older siblings or attend teen parties. The drugs that are within reach are prescription drugs that are commonly found in the home. Often, parents forgot that they have these pills lying around or they don’t believe their children will use them. Even if you take the initiative to lock up all medications in your home, it can be the friend of your child that will have access.
All it takes is one time for kids to get hooked on pain medication. OxyContin is the drug of choice for many, mainly because it’s effective and easy to take. It is often paired with alcohol, marijuana or other prescription medications to enhance the effects. However, OxyContin is expensive, and on the street, these pills sell for $30 to $80 each depending on the dosage.
A Changing Formula Leads to an Increase in Heroin
Another unique finding lies in the formula of the drug OxyContin. Fox News reports that the manufacturer of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, has changed the formula of its drugs to make it harder for addicts to crush or snort the pill. The drug is also much slower to dissolve, which has helped reduce some of the appeals to OxyContin. Yet this hasn’t stopped drug abuse entirely, and it has led to more users preferring the ease and effectiveness of heroin.
Help for A Heroin Addict
Although heroin is a scary drug to the general public, behind the doors at The River Source, this drug is the next logical step for drug abusers. It’s cheap, easily available and highly addictive. This drug is responsible for tearing apart families and crushing future dreams. As more research and funding are given toward helping addicts fight heroin addiction, we can better reach out to America’s youth. At The River Source, we continually strive for the very best care and compassion during our stay while keeping the family involved and offering innovative programs that increase the chances for long-term recovery.
Heroin does not have to be a death sentence. The River Source has proven tools for a successful recovery.
If you or someone in your family is suffering from heroin addiction, contact us today at 866-294-9331.