Prescription drug opioid abuse is a strong trend amount the nation’s youth, and it’s looking like abuse of opioids is boosting the rate of “conversion” over to heroin. It’s disturbing to think of very young people abusing heroin. New research indicates that young people are experimenting with prescription opioid painkillers filched from their parents or grandparents medicine closes, those of friends, and developing an addiction to those prescription opioids. When parents catch on and prevent that abuse from continuing, heroin has once again become easy to get and easy to afford, even for teens. We once again have a heroin plague on our hands.
Prescription Opioid Abuse Leading To Rampant Heroin Addiction
When we direct our focus to teens, we see that about 70% of those teens who consistently abuse prescription opioids go on to abuse heroin. As there’s still a great deal of hydrocodone floating around that’s been legitimately and legally prescribed, but not all of it gets into, or stays in, the hands of the people who need it. Teens get hold of it from parents, grandparents, it gets passed around and for some, it becomes addictive. At one time opioids had a very powerful draw to me, then for reasons I never understood, they started making me horribly nauseous. To this day, I dread taking them, and so far, only major dental work has the power to get me to take an opiate derivative. However, booze–relapse is always possible for me and alcohol. If I didn’t work a program, I’d be in trouble, fast.
Nonetheless, opioid abuse by teens is acting as a gateway for many to morph into heroin abuse and then addiction. As heroin comes in tablets, the stigma attached to IV drug use is lessened for early users. Then, as they need more and more heroin, the needle looks far less frightening. Remember, addiction is a progressive illness the erodes a person’s ability to perceive reality. Addiction’s first victim is a person’s ability to judge how much and how often they’re using drugs. Teens are not good judges of danger. Neurologically, their brains haven’t grown to the point where their ability to judge danger, evaluate likely outcomes of risks, and weight danger to benefit is mature. Those parts of the brain in the prefrontal and frontal lobes don’t develop in many people until the early 20s.