A study of people addicted to painkillers who began using heroin confirms that many of them were drawn to heroin’s low cost and wide availability.
Researchers surveyed 15,000 people being treated for drug addiction, and conducted in-depth interviews with 267 of them. They found almost half of those interviewed were addicted to opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet before using heroin,HealthDay reports.
Three-fourths of those interviewed said they tried heroin because of its lower cost and greater availability.
Lead researcher Theodore Cicero of Washington University in St. Louis said heroin use began rising after the federal government began shutting down “pill mills” and doctors who illegally prescribe opioids.