Can A Person Transition From Prescription Opioids to Heroin Use?

Middle Aged Man smiling

Chronic pain has long been a concern for many Americans; accidents, sports injuries, illnesses and more can create tingling sensations, sharp pains, numbness, and other painful side effects that cause much distress in daily life. If you’ve been experiencing chronic pain, you may have been prescribed painkillers – with the opioid crisis as a prime example, misuse of prescription medication can easily turn to addiction if not monitored with care; alternatively, other drug use may become part of the picture if the prescriptions become harder to fill or do not produce the same effects they once did. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has stated that prescription opioid use is a risk factor for heroin use – if you’re taking pain medication, it’s important that you take only as prescribed because they can be very addictive and may lead you down the wrong path.

A 2014 study published in The International Journal of Drug Policy sought to explore the pathways in which individuals with prescription opioids turned to when it came to heroin injection. Twenty-two current heroin users were interviewed regarding their initial drug use, their initiation into opioid and heroin injections, their experience obtaining drugs, the methods in which they’ve taken drugs, and their history with drug-related health events, crimes, and services. The researchers found that younger heroin users were more likely to transition to heroin from opioids, whereas older heroin users were more likely to transition to heroin from non-opioid drugs like cannabis, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Additionally, results showed that individuals who transitioned to heroin from opioids were typically taking Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen) or Oxycontin (long-acting oxycodone) before transitioning to heroin.

If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about various treatment programs and which one may be most beneficial for your recovery. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can begin restoring your mind, body, and spirit. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.