Opioid-to-Heroin Connection

Opioid-to-Heroin Connection

Think of a “typical” heroin user. Now think again. According to a recently published study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, there has been an increase in heroin abuse among whites, women, and people of high socio-economic statuses. It’s a far cry from the urban street corners the drug has usually been relegated to. In efforts to explain the demographic shift, a research team led by Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, of NYU Langone Medical Center conducted a study examining heroin use among U.S. high school seniors. They found that more than 75% of the teens that used heroin had also engaged in the non-medical use of opioids, and that there is a clear connection between frequency and recency of opioid misuse and likelihood of heroin use. Their findings suggest that opioids can act as a gateway to heroin abuse, and that there is a need for better education and interventions among young adults when it comes to the nonmedical use of opioid drugs.

 

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