There’s good news and bad news in the world of pain pill addiction. The good news is that OxyContin use has gone down; the bad news is that heroine use is on the rise.
At least, this is the story in Vermont. However, this is not something that is unique to the Northeast. In our California drug rehab, we have heard the same story time and time again. In some cases, it is switching from Adderall to crystal meth, but whatever the substance, there is a growing trend of going from pharmaceuticals to street drugs.
People too often think that prescription pain pills are somehow safer, and only after they begin getting sick after not getting their fix do they realize they are essentially one in the same.
But somehow, they are also not. It is the same euphoria, it is the same sickness, but at the same time, it is more dangerous to go to the man on the corner than it is the man behind the counter at Walgreens. It is a lot more likely that the bottle of pain pills is more consistent than the bag of dope, but the true addict or alcoholic is willing to take that risk.
That is one of the many indicators that we have moved from pain pill abuse into pain pill addiction. Normal people take their meds as they are prescribed, and when they run out, they stop or go to the doctor to get more. If the doctor does not provide more, then they say, “Oh well,” and go on with their lives.
The addict or alcoholic refuses to take “No” for an answer. They will do what they can to chase that feeling—no matter the cost. Sometimes, sadly, that cost is our lives. They will do everything from stealing from ailing family, robbing people on the streets, or, as they are finding in Vermont, acquiring far more dangerous substitutes.
And that is why the heroine overdose death toll continues to rise. Opiate addiction is something that is not going away any time soon, and pain pill addition plays a large roll in that epidemic. We know because we have seen it before, and some of us have gone to those depths—if not lower—ourselves. We didn’t want to—we had to. The choice had been taken from us long ago.
What lengths were you willing to go to in order to get your fix? Let us know in the comments section.