Decrease in Oxycontin Use Leads to Spike in Heroin Use

Heroin vs Oxycontin Addiction

Around 2010 the Oxycontin epidemic was growing out of control. The strength and availability of the drug led to many people becoming addicted to the famous painkiller. The days of having to visit a dark alley to achieve a strong opiate high were over. Individuals misusing the prescription drug were on the rise.

In 2010 a misuse deterrent was introduced. This changed the formulation of the drug to make it more difficult to crush or dissolve. The idea was to lower the ease with which a person could snort or inject the drug. The plan achieved what it set out to achieve, as the number of individuals checking into addiction treatment centers who had used Oxycontin in the last 30 days dropped from 45 percent before the formula change to 26 percent in 2014. Addicts entering rehab who had used Oxycontin in he last 30 days has nearly halved in 4 years.

However, of the 19 percent of users who stopped taking Oxycontin during this time, it’s estimated that 70 percent of them switched to heroin. The secondary effects of the formula change had devastating results in the addiction world. Making it more difficult to abuse Oxycontin didn’t make addicts stop using drugs, it just made them switch drugs. Concurrently with this trend, heroin overdoses have skyrocketed in the last 4 years.

Changing the drugs formula, in the big picture, didn’t work. They changed some things, and addicts found a way around it. This is true of many scenarios that arise in addiction. Attempting anything, outside of relentlessly pursuing recovery, is typically useless. Many addicts will need professional help to get clean and stay clean.

Harmony Foundation provides the professional care necessary to help you or a loved one achieve a lasting recovery. If you would like to learn more about what our program has to offer, contact us for more information.