Monday, April 29, 2013

Oxycontin: A Gateway to Heroin?

Chris Newcomb, M.Div. 

Prescription pills are the rage right now.  People from all walks of life get sucked into using prescription pills for several reasons.  First, many are legitimately prescribed them for legitimate physical pain and the patient doesn't know that their brain is set up for addiction.  Second, some feel that it is ok to go to a doctor and fake pain so they can get these same pills.  Third, others justify that they don't have a problem because these pills are 'made by the manufacturer' so they are 'safer than street drugs'.  To add insult to injury, due to the large demand and short supply of Oxycontin on the street, many people are now 'graduating' from their prescription pill use to a whole new level of addiction via heroin!

Once thought of as just an 'inner-city' drug problem, heroin has now become the chic drug of choice for upwardly mobile members of society.  Doctors, judges, lawyers, accountants, ministers, and other seemingly upstanding professionals are getting caught in the vortex of heroin use via oxycontin abuse.  For example, in a recent U.S.A. Today article*, researchers at the Carolinas Medical Center found that the majority of their abusing patients came from the 5 best neighborhoods in Charlotte, NC. 

At The Coleman Institute, we keep seeing an increase in the number of patients who come in for a heroin detox yet started their drug addiction on Oxycontin.  In most cases, patients believed, naively, that Oxycontin wasn't addictive and that heroin was easy to kick.  All of them believed at one point or another that they had the strength to bear the withdrawals on their own.  None of them succeed which is why they come to see us.  Truth be told, it takes 7-10 days to withdraw off opiates and the majority of people cave between Day 3 and Day 5 because the withdrawal symptoms are that unbearable!  

There is nothing wrong with being on Oxycontin when it is prescribed carefully by a doctor who is very familiar with addiction and who limits the prescription time frame in order to avoid patients getting addicted.  Unfortunately, most doctors have a thumbnail view of addiction, and while they may mean well, they do more damage than good.  Furthermore, many patients who either have an addiction or know that addiction runs in their family refuse to be honest and open with the doctor and staff about their personal and/or family history so they can get their drug of choice.

If you or someone you love is hooked on Oxycontin and/or has graduated to Heroin, we can help!  We specialize in detox from all opiates.  If you have decided that you are tired of being sick and tired of being hooked on drugs and that you are in need of detox from opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869)

*For more information, here is the link to the aforementioned article in U.S.A. Today (

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