How Painkillers Led to Widespread Heroin Addiction

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Poorly Regulated and Misunderstood

In some way or another, nearly everyone has heard about the “opioid epidemic” and how it has been plaguing our nation over the last decade. However, although it is often portrayed as individuals abusing their painkillers, the widespread addiction actually has roots in issues that actually places the blame squarely where it belongs – on the government and big pharmaceutical companies.

When it was time for the Food and Drug Administration to do its job and test each opioid painkiller  as they hit the market, they apparently just trusted whatever the medicine’s manufacturer said rather than actually putting in due diligence. Because of this, it became “common knowledge” that opioids were not addictive. While we know the (obvious) truth of these dangerous drugs now, before everyone understood how addictive opioids could really be, doctors prescribed them at rates that would now be deemed highly irresponsible.

Because of that, millions of people around the United States are now addicted to some opioid or another, and many are in life-or-death battles with their addictions.


Going From Painkillers to Heroin

Where things get really dangerous with the opioid epidemic is that many addicts end up turning to heroin. As drastic of a choice this might seem, it is usually done to save money rather than just get a stronger high as most people assume. In fact, many medicinal opioids are actually much stronger than heroin. Still, where pharmaceutical opioids start at around $40, give or take a few, to get a day’s worth of drugs in, heroin is closer to $5. People have turned to heroin in large numbers simply to afford their addiction.


If you or a loved one is developing or has developed an addiction to prescription opioids or heroin, get the help you need right away by calling us today at (866) 971-5531 or send us a message online. Don’t wait until it’s too late.


Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.