Published On: Wed, Feb 22nd, 2017

Is Prescription Painkillers the Answer to Heroin Addiction?

Everyone experiences pain at some point, and look for medical care. But pain is more than physical discomfort; it is also emotional, cognitive and potentially break the individual down if left unattended to; as it is often linked with inflammation and tissue damage.

Medical health practitioners would often prescribe painkiller drugs as a cure for moderate to severe pain to help the individual get relief from the pain and be able to functional optimally.  

But we all tend to overlook the downsides of painkillers: Their abuse and addictive potentials, which becomes even worse if not used as directed. When a person repeatedly takes a prescription drug over time, they develop a tolerance for the substance, which will trigger a compulsive urge for progressively larger doses of the drug to achieve its initial effective.

photo Emuishere Pelicula via Flickr

If the individual abruptly attempts to reduce their intake of the drug or abstain entirely, they begin to suffer withdrawal symptoms with significant attendant consequences such as pains and cramps, sweat and chills, unpleasant gastrointestinal problems, and a general of feeling languor or dysphoria.

This is typically the process that leads to drug addiction in an individual because the feeling of loneliness and agony caused by withdrawal feeds the urges to take a painkiller, which is in fact a negative reinforcement.

The truth about all drugs

The best approach to drug is to know the facts and avoid taking it in the first place.


Believe it or not, drugs – every drug — are essentially poisonous particularly when taken in large amounts.

While taking a small dose of a drug many be relatively safe and act as stimulant (speeds the individual up); ingesting large doses of a drug act as a sedative (slows the individual down). And an even higher dose is dangerous and could lead to poisoning and death.

This is a fact about every drug. Only the amount required to achieve the effect varies.

Public domain photo/Psychonaught

But there’s another problem with drugs: They can take control of the mind. They can create a false view of happenings around the person, thereby altering their perception of their environment. The  consequence is that the individual starts to act unusual, illogical, negative and even destructive.

Drugs suppress the person’s sensations, replacing the desirable ones with the undesired.  So while drugs give a patient temporary relief from pain, they also rid the person or diminish their ability, soundness of mind and alertness.

Medicines are drugs that are meant to speed up or slow down or alter something about the way your body functions, so it can work better. Sometimes, that is essential. But medicines are still drugs and have stimulating or sedative matters, which can potentially kill if overdosed. So, using medicine wrongly can be as much dangerous as if you were taking an illegal drug as heroin.

If you or a loved one suspects you may be having a drug dependency or addiction problem, you should immediately seek out some of the best quality rehab centres for good opiate addiction treatment programs.

Typically, a standard rehab center will be equipped with the right facility and highly qualified health care personnel to assure personalised treatment for effective and faster healing.

Why prescription addiction turn to heroin

Of late, more and more prescription drug addicts are converting to heroin addiction and here are the reasons why?


  • Heroin is actually a prescription drug


Actually, heroin is a prescription drug; just that it was more commonly used for that purpose around the turn of the 19th century. When used in this way, it is called diamorphine.

Consequently, heroin acts as a good substitute for prescription painkillers. The most common prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone are in fact, like heroin, opioid drugs (that is, they’re derived from opium).


  • It is comparatively cheaper than prescription drugs


While painkillers could cost anywhere between $60 and $100, a single dose of heroin can be got for $10.


  • It is easier to find


With so many known negative effects of painkiller abuse, and governments making laws to limit its availability in the market, prescription drugs are becoming more difficult to come by. In contrast, heroin can be easily found if you know the right people.


  • It is easier to dissolve and ingest


Author: Emma Copper

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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