Scientists were surprised what they found when they looked deeply a painkillers and heroin.
A surprising new study indicates sheds light on the relationship between painkiller abuse and the use of the illegal drug heroin — or rather, the lack thereof.
People who abuse opioid-based painkillers aren’t really more likely to turn to illicit drugs like heroin, according to a UPI report.
While deaths from heroin have been skyrocketing in recent years, doubling according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, this new study indiates that you can’t blame painkillers for the rise.
That claims contradicts the report from the CDC as well as a recent study by New York University, which found that heroin users in high school started with prescription painkillers before progressing to the illegal drug.
The study did find some connection, with heroin users 3.9 times more likely to have used opioids in the previous year. But 3.6 percent of opioid painkiller users started using heroin within five years of taking painkillers, and just 4.2 percent of people who were on prescription drugs used heroin in the previous year, indicating the connection is very weak.
It’s an indication that people who are prescription drug addicts should not be treated the same as heroin addicts, and vice versa. They are two separate categories of people who require their own specific treatments.
The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.