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Prescription Painkillers Tagged as Gateway Drug to Heroin

Story at-a-glance -

  • As many as 1.5 million Americans were chronic heroin users in 2010
  • Over the past five years, heroin deaths have increased by 45 percent--an increase blamed on rise of addictive prescription drugs such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, codeine, and Fentora, all of which are opioids
  • The reason for the resurgence of heroin is in large part due to it being less expensive than its prescription counterparts
  • Prescription painkillers were responsible for 16,600 deaths in 2010; heroin was involved in about 3,000 deaths
  • While most opioid drug abusers obtain the drug from a friend or relative, individuals who are at greatest risk for drug abuse are just as likely to get theirs from a doctor’s prescription

By Dr. Mercola

According to a recent report commissioned by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as many as 1.5 million Americans were chronic heroin users in 2010. Such statistics add further fuel to concerns about rising narcotics abuse and drug-related deaths.


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