The addiction to heroin has accelerated. Even trying it just once can trigger drug dependency. As many are learning, this addiction doesn’t begin with heroin. For many, it starts with painkillers.
Bill Whitaker, a 60 Minutes correspondent, opened the eyes for many about heroin this past weekend. The report was so informative, Forbes and Fortune newsmagazine contributors wrote about the coverage hours later.
It Doesn’t Start As An Addiction
It seems so harmless. A sport’s injury or surgery may require pain meds to help alleviate the discomfort. Day after day, a patient takes these painkillers believing that their doctor knows best. But for some, things take a detour during the course of recovery.
Addiction treatment centers in San Diego realize how easy it is to misuse painkillers. When one steps forward and honestly admits they may have a problem, compassionate care is there to help steer people back onto the road of recovery.
Painkiller Addiction Warning Signs
There are common warning signs which emerge if the need for these medications takes hold. They are the following:
- The Next Dose: The best way of describing this is a strong focus and preoccupation when one can take their medication once again. Another part of this is uneasiness that the patient does not have enough medication or fearful of what to do when they run out.
- Medication Shopping: Once a patient’s doctor feels that they no longer need their painkillers, the prescriptions stop. However, if one has become dependent, they may begin to visit other doctors to get another prescription or find the medication another way.
- Exceeding The Dose: A person with a dependency takes more medication than what is directed. If a loved one or friend comments on this excessive pattern, normally the person becomes agitated and angry.
Every person will display a different physical and psychological signs of addiction.
The American Heroin Addiction
As mentioned earlier on 60 Minutes, Bill Whitaker covered heroin addiction in the United States. Debra Borchardt, a contributor of Forbes, provided detailed findings in her article, “On Heroin, ’60 Minutes’ Gives Big Pharma A Break.”
Cutting to the chase she wrote, “The program features several addicts and parents of deceased addicts who said it was prescription painkillers that led them to heroin, but 60 Minutes failed to mention the companies that make these dangerous drugs.” She continued, “The painkillers are opioids that mimic heroin’s chemical composition and are known through prescription names like OxyContin or Vicodin.”
Borchardt went on to write that these medications are heavily prescribed even to younger people who have undergone “oral surgery or an injury.” She also wanted readers to know that many that are prescribed this drug at first are in true pain and discomfort.
On 60 Minutes, what it all boiled down to was the DEA blames the massive prescription drug companies for the increase in heroin use.
The DEA’s Viewpoint On Heroin Addiction
In her article, Borchardt cited from the DEA’s April 2015 report, “Controlled prescription drug abusers who begin using heroin do so chiefly because of price differences, but also because of availability and the reformulation of OxyContin.”
Whitaker relayed that although these were deemed to be legal drugs, they were the entryway to a far more harmful substance: heroin.
While drug recovery treatment centers are helping patients with painkiller dependency and heroin addiction, it’s suggested by Borchardt that it is time for pharmaceutical companies making these drugs to own up to the impact of the problem and take responsibility.