According to a study from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) which is a branch of the NIH (National Institute of Health) 50% of all heroin addiction begins as prescription drug abuse: “pain killers” like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percoset, Lortabs and Vicadin, to name just a few. Prescription Overdoses also eclipsed the Overdose deaths from Heroin and Cocaine combined. Thus, not only are direct deaths from prescription drug abuse massive but the second biggest source of drug overdose deaths, heroin, owes 50% of its addicts to prescription drugs. Thus it is clear that drug overdose deaths attributable to prescription drugs are clearly the vast majority of the 43,000 drug abuse overdose deaths that occurred last year here in the United States.
Glen Petcavage, the Executive Director of Narconon Colorado, a residential drug and alcohol rehab states that it is clear that admissions for heroin and prescription opiates are sky-rocketing due to the enormous rise in prescription drug abuse and its offspring, heroin. Sadly, for many, real help necessary for many is just not available as governments and insurers are still coming to grips with the enormity of the problem. Treatment for heroin addiction has escalated dramatically over the past five years.