A new study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy suggests that abusing prescription drugs, particularly opioids, could send a person well on the way towards injecting heroin and other injectable illicit drugs.
According to a report by Science Daily, the researchers at Drexel University’s School of Public Health discovered that out of five injection drug users, four actually abused prescription opioids before they started injecting heroin. Lead researcher Dr. Stephen Lankenau of Drexel University and his team also found that nearly one out of four young injection drug users injected a prescription drug first before making the switch to heroin injections.
The study included 50 injection drug users aged 16 to 25 as participants, all of whom have misused a prescription drug at least three times in the past three months.
This is quite alarming considering the age of the subjects. Prescription opioids, while legal, are still highly addictive. If prescription drug use morphs into prescription drug abuse, it won’t be long before they start shooting up heroin, if the findings of this study is any indication, and that should be a cause for worry among parents, employers, and other people concerned with the user’s health and well-being.
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