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What is the relationship between other drugs like prescription painkillers and heroin?

It is extremely important to note that almost ALL of the young people who use heroin used prescription painkillers first! Prescription painkillers serve as the most common gateway to heroin for many young people whether they were originally prescribed these drugs or they bought or stole them from others. Research from SAMHSA discovered that 4 out of 5 heroin users began their path to heroin by abusing prescription painkillers.

You may be familiar with names such as oxycontin, oxycodone and vicodin. These prescription painkillers, also known as synthetic opiates or opiod analgesics, are a class of painkillers designed to address short and long-term pain. Generally, they are considered safe when prescribed, used as prescribed, and when use is closely monitored by a doctor. However, these drugs have a potential for abuse and have become increasingly popular as a means of achieving a high.

Due to an adolescent’s developing brain and its susceptibility to become addicted to various drugs that can be prescribed, it is likely that any teen who has one of these painkillers prescribed to them should be very closely monitored by a doctor and parent/guardian.

Heroin Use and Other Drugs

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