HUMP DAY: THE REASON BEHIND HEROIN USE
Heroin use is on the rise and many people are quick to judge users before taking a second look. By stereotyping heroin addicts as weak, stupid, useless, delinquents we are missing out on what lies behind their heroin addiction.
Most heroin addicts would have never thought of doing the drug, but they became desperate after becoming addicted to a prescription. In fact, almost 80% of heroin users have had additions to prescription painkillers and opioids. Painkillers are highly addictive, so even getting a minor surgery and taking a few pills can lead to addiction. In the 19th century, heroin was prescribed by doctors as a painkiller; back then it was called diamorphine. Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are the most common painkillers today. These painkillers are opioids, just like heroin. There is the idea that heroin makes a “perfect” yet equally as deadly substitute for these prescription drugs.
But, why don’t people just stay addicted to the legal drugs instead of switching to heroin? Well, prescription painkillers are extremely expensive, ranging from $60-$100 per pill. Meanwhile, heroin costs about $10 and is easily accessible. Additionally, painkillers are getting harder and harder to come by with new legislation that limits the amount of prescriptions doctors can write. Therefore, it is sometimes much easier to simply find a heroin dealer. Lastly, heroin is user-friendly (for lack of a better word). Painkiller addicts usually don’t just swallow the pills once they become addicted. In order to get a high, they need to grind the pill up and snort it. However, now drug companies are making the pill harder to crush. Heroin, on the other hand, is delivered to the user “ready-to-use.”
For these reasons, it is imperative to know that ANYONE can become addicted to heroin in the blink of an eye. By looking at the reasons why so many people use heroin, we can see that these are just normal, mostly law-abiding citizens who became addicted to painkillers and were desperate. Heroin addiction can happen to you or someone you love, and maybe it already has. It is important to understand the reasons behind heroin use so that we can be aware of the warning signs and potential causes of heroin addiction. It is also now our job to correct the stereotypes and misconceptions that have been made about heroin addiction.
Written and Researched by Sarah Pasquarelli, Peer Educator
Photo Cred:Heroin Pic