Patients seeking treatment for heroin addiction usually start by being addicted to prescription painkillers, according to a new study by the Washington University School of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The new research published in the journal ofAmerican Medical Association on May 28, stated that "there is now growing evidence that some prescription opioid abusers, particularly those who inhale or inject their drugs, graduate or shift to heroin.
The research entitled the "Changing Face of Heroin" was originally focused on reports that abuse of heroin is currently not only among low -income urban areas belonging to the minority population but have reached the suburban areas with white population. It also made an important finding on the relationship between the abuse of prescription painkillers and heroin.
It also found that the increase in the abuse of heroin was linked to the rise in the abuse of prescription opioids over the last 20 years and accelerated with the release of Oxycontin pills in the middle of the 1990's. Oxycontin is a prescription medication taken orally. It is use to treat mild to severe pain but can be addictive when taken more than the prescribed dosage and length to treat pains.
The research showed that heroin use was predominantly in young men. This group belong to those who began using heroin in the 1960s while recent users are much older, comprising of both men and women living in less urban areas. Recent users also showed to have been introduced to opioids or pain medication through prescription drugs. In the last decade, users were predominantly white unlike before the 1980s.
The data was obtained from more than 150 public and private treatment centers covering 48 states. There were 9,000 patients who were respondents in the research. Close to 3,000 patients surveyed wrote heroin as their drug of choice. The data collection was from 2010 to 2013.
The study also showed that heroin is now the choice opiods because of the better "high" it gives than prescription painkillers. Significant use of heroin, according to the survey howeverwas due to the latter being more accessible and cheaper. Oxycontin price may go up as high as $80 while heroin can be accessible for as low as $10.
Heroin is highly addictive, it is made from poppy plants, it is a sap-like opium which is then used to make morphine and heroin. Most heroin is injected and sharing needles among drug-dependents is a major cause of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS.
According to the American News Report, Theodore J. Cicero, PhD, a professor ofneuropharmacology in Pyschiatry and lead researcher, said heroin is the most powerful drug and it kills.
"The overdose deaths and hospitalizations are symptoms of a problem that we really need to deal with," Cicero was quoted as saying. He added that an effective treatment of people or prevent addiction is to know what drugs are being taken.
In the U.S., drug overdose deaths number over 30,000 a year and more than half are due to opioid overdose. According to a 2003 survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some 3.7 million Americans had used heroin at least once. It is cited as the primary drug of choice. Heroin-related deaths are also growing in number. Suicide, homicide, liver diseases and cancer, are also listed as some cause of deaths due to heroin abuse.
There is a growing trend in heroin abuse. For some, the Pulp Fiction portrayal of Vincent Vega injecting himself with heroin, was their first experience of intravenous drug use.
However heroin use can be wiped out if drug dependents seek treatment for their addiction. It is not too late to seek help.
BioCorRx Inc. (BICX) is one of those companies that can help with the use of a Naltrexone implant. It is used in conjunction with its addiction rehabilitation coaching program called the Start Fresh Program. According to BioCorRx, naltrexone is a form of medication that stops the effects of opioids such as heroin and morphine.
Naltrexone was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of opioid addiction in 1984, however most patients are noncompliant with taking it daily in the oral form. By using a naltrexone implant, it removes the chance of the patient not taking the required daily dose. The implant is placed under the patient's skin and because it is time-released, patients cannot skip the medication. Likelihood of a relapse after taking Naltrexone implants is significantly reduced, according to studies.
The program developed by BioCorRx, treats patients with a slow release dose that can last up to several months in many patients . The time-released implant gives the patient a higher success rate in treating drug dependence. BioCorRx said that their naltrexone implant is "one of the only single-administration, long acting implants used in the United States." The company also launched a Life Coaching Program along with the technology.