Experimentation with mind-altering substances used to be far less dangerous. No doubt, this practice has never been a particularly good idea. But there used to be a time – not so long ago – when young people would get into their parents’ liquor cabinets. That still goes on, but the drug they’re graduating to isn’t just marijuana. Prescription pills – namely opiates, are the biggest threat. And this threat is fueling a whole new generation of heroin addicts.
They may seem harmless enough. After all, prescription painkillers and sedatives such as Klonopin and Valium are prescribed by a doctor. But it only takes a few times and you could be hooked. Experimenting with opiates such as Vicodin or OxyContin can spiral out of control before you even knew what happened.
Opiate Side Effects Can Be Deadly
Prescription opiates and heroin provide the same sort of effects. They can sedate you, provide a sense of euphoria and make you forget your worries. But, along with this “high” comes some very dangerous side effects, such as physical and psychological dependency, possible overdose and the potential for fatal respiratory depression.
In short, you could stop breathing and never wake up if you take too much. This can also happen if you mix medications and substances. For instance, opiates can negatively interact with other opiates, sedatives, sleeping medication, alcohol and various illegal drugs. Oftentimes, many of these substances are used in conjunction – especially at young peoples’ parties.
Some people may get a legitimate prescription and continue to use opiates after they’re needed. Others, especially teens, may begin experimenting with prescription painkillers they get from other friends. Continued use of these medications could put you on the road to opiate addiction.
This type of addiction doesn’t discriminate, so if you are of the “It can’t happen to me” mindset, you are wrong. People of all ages, races and backgrounds can fall into this trap – sometimes after a few uses. And the road to recovery can be a long and painful one without the right kind of opiate treatment.
The Cost Of Opiate Addiction Goes Beyond The Financial Toll
The disease of addiction can be costly in many ways. It can take your health, ruin relationships, end careers and destroy futures. The cost is another factor. OxyContin purchased on the street can go for $1 per milligram. A 100-milligram dosage, which would cover an addict for one day, could fetch $100.
This prompts many to steal, “doctor shop,” engage in prescription fraud or turn to prostitution. The cost forces many to try heroin for the first time because it’s more accessible and cheaper on the black market.
If ever there has been a time in history to follow the advice to “Just Say No,” it’s now. Even one use of prescription painkillers can lure you into directions you should never want to go.
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