Two Of America’s Biggest Drug Problems Are Intertwined
The Huffington Post | by Jillian Berman
Posted: 02/07/2014 1:29 pm EST Updated: 02/07/2014 1:59 pm EST
Behind the recent uptick in heroin deaths is a spike in the number of Americans abusing another kind of drug: prescription painkillers, which Hoffman reportedly abused before his problem escalated to include heroin.
Opiates like Oxycotin, Vicodin and Percoset have a similar chemical makeup to heroin, and they can also be highly addictive, which has led to an abuse crisis that’s cost the U.S. more than $55 billion in lost economic output in 2009, according to Seeking Alpha. But unlike heroin, they’re legal with a prescription and generate billions for the pharmaceutical industry every year.
The link between heroin and painkillers is strong.