Heroin and Oxycontin Addiction Drug Rehab
It is no secret that Oxycontin abuse has become an epidemic and heroin abuse is on the increase also. In fact, because the drugs are almost identical, Oxycontin has become a gateway drug for heroin – addicts buy heroin when they can’t afford their Oxycontin.
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The History Of Heroin
Heroin was deemed illegal by the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act in 1914 because of its addictive qualities. While Oxycontin is just as addictive as and actually more dangerous than heroin, because of its time release qualities, it is unlikely that it will become illegal anytime soon. Money talks and with one billion dollar a year sales and six million prescriptions, Oxycontin has a loud voice.
The most realistic solution at this point (in addition to effective drug education) is to get as many Oxycontin and heroin abusers identified and in treatment quickly – either drug can have deadly consequences and the majority of users are unable to stop on their own.
Identifying an abuser must be done as the first obvious action. With the amount of Oxycontin and heroin abuse occurring in this society, it behooves anyone to know the signs and symptoms. A loved one could be in trouble. (These would also be the signs for abuse of Dilaudid, vicodin and hydrocodone, which are also opiates.)
Symptoms of Abuse
- Constricted pupils that look like pinpoints or small dots.
- If the method of ingestion is sniffing, the nostrils may appear raw or red.
- If the method of ingestion is by injection there will be needle marks in the arms, behind the knees or the ankles.
- Pale and sweaty
- Sleepiness (Called nodding out)
- Runny nose
Opiate abuse is dangerous and often deadly. Specifically:
- OxyContin is time release, providing 12 hours of synthetic morphine numbness. The time release aspect makes it dangerous for those who chew it to get the 12 hour dose at once. There have been reports of overdose and death from taking a life threatening dose through chewing or shooting a time release tablet.
- Heroin users don’t even know what they are getting as most street heroin is “cut” with other drugs or substances such as sugar, starch, quinine, strychnine or fentanyl. Because the user doesn’t know the actual strength or true contents of the drug they are at risk for overdose or death. And this risk presents itself day in and day out because the typical heroin addict will have to inject three to eight times a day, depending on their addiction.
- Weaning off or trying to stop OxyContin or any opiate all together causes the bones to hurt, skin to crawl and other symptoms described as “sheer hell” by those who have tried it. “It was easier to keep taking the drug, even if it meant stealing or taking risks” states one drug addict. With no apparent end in sight to the suffering, most addicts will continue as long using as they are not stopped by some life disaster, prison or rehab.
What Can Be Done
If an individual recognizes the symptoms of abuse in a loved one or finds Oxycontin or heroin in the house, they must DO SOMETHING. Help your loved ones and friends end their addiction.