Over the past decade, dependence upon opiate painkillers like Vicodin, Lorcet, OxyContin and others has turned from a growing problem into a virtual epidemic. Lawmakers and prescribers have worked together and cracked down, creating a dearth of product for those living with an addiction. The hope was that addicts would turn to addiction treatment to help them get back on track. The unfortunate result has instead been a rise in dependence upon heroin, a drug that is similar in effect to painkillers.

The Push of Painkillers

Painkillers are opiate drugs, as is heroin. Painkillers have become less available through legal means due to a crackdown in prescriptions and fraud, and painkillers sold on the street are prohibitively expensive. Heroin is not.

Heroin is relatively easy to get despite its status as illegal, and it’s inexpensive compared to the cost of painkillers. It may seem easier for someone to stave off withdrawal symptoms by purchasing heroin than it is to navigate the ins and outs of rehab admission and get the treatment that will help them stop using all drugs completely.


Bloomberg reports that one reason why street suppliers are able to keep up with the demand is the willingness of drug cartels to supply the drug where it is wanted. The result has been far more widespread than the simple maintenance of addiction for current addicts. Experts report that Mexican drug cartels and local gangs have been working together – and in some cases, against each other – to provide more and more heroin to support the rising demand.

This has meant:

  • Increased admissions to emergency rooms due to heroin-related medical emergencies
  • Increase in overdoses and related deaths
  • Rise in crime
  • Rise in the prison population due to increase in charges and convictions for heroin-related crimes

Effective Treatment

Regardless of supply and drug trends on the street, the individual addict’s only hope against an overwhelming addiction to heroin or any substance is to get the help necessary to make a full recovery. This can only happen with a safe and effective detox followed by intensive psychotherapeutic treatment. This can be provided on a residential or outpatient basis, but the earlier that treatment begins, the more effective it will be.

Contact us at Black Bear Lodge at the phone number listed above today. Let us help you and your addicted loved one to move forward by getting the best possible treatment for an insidious disease. Call now to get started.

Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at Black Bear Lodge. For more specific information on programs at Black Bear Lodge, contact us today.