Prescription Drug Abuse Causing a Rise in Heroin Addiction

by AdamS on July 21, 2012

There has been a sharp increase in the amount of prescription drug abuse and prescription drug addictions in the last 10 years.  This is due in part to the mainstream introduction of opiod pain killers such as oxycontin in the United States.  Opioids are created from the same plant as opium and heroin and can be just as addictive.  These pills can be deadly if taken in excessive amounts and also create desperation in their users to find more of the substance.  This has led to a rise in heroin abuse in the United States.  Without prescription drug addiction treatment, these individuals could end up dead from overdose.  Check out for more information on helpful treatment options.

Prescription Drugs: A Gateway to Heroin

A large number of people who become addicted to prescription pain killers like oxycontin are switching to heroin because it is cheaper.  Prescription pills can cost anywhere from $15-$80 a pill depending on the strength of the drug.  Heroin on the other hand can be purchased at a much lower price.  When individuals are addicted to prescription drugs, their habit can end up costing them all their money and when they cannot afford the expensive pills, they have to turn to heroin to get their fix.

Heroin Deaths

Heroin overdoses among young adults, ages 15-24 has risen dramatically from less than 200 in 1999 to over 500 in 2009.  The sharp increase can be linked to the introduction of opioid pain killers as a popular treatment for acute and chronic pains in the United States.  A large number of people that are prescribed these opioids for pain get addicted to them and begin to fake the symptoms to get more.  When the doctor finally stops prescribing them, they have to find other ways to get their hands on the drug.  Heroin produces the same feeling as these pain killers at a fraction of the cost.

Pillbilly Culture

Abusers of prescription drugs are colloquially referred to as “pillbillies” and they are becoming an epidemic in the United States.  The large majority of pillbillies are attracted to South Florida, due to its immense number of pain clinics.  There are almost 200 pain clinics in South Florida, and over 800 statewide, making Florida the hub of the prescription drug trade.  A lot of dealers come from up north, especially the Appalachian areas like Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas to buy pills in Florida and then sell them at a much higher price in their own hometowns.

Prescription drug abuse is definitely on the rise in the United States, and it’s leading to even more devastating problems like heroin addiction.  These opioids are incredibly dangerous, addictive and easy to find, even for teenagers and young adults.  The more people who use these prescription drugs the greater the odds are of even worse drugs getting involved.  For those who are affected by these drugs, it’s important to find a good prescription drug addiction treatment center.  These drugs are not going to disappear on their own, it will take a lot of hard work to correct this problem in the United States.  Check out  for more info.

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