Heroin Addiction Treatment in the Twin Cities

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Heroin Addiction Treatment in the MinnesotaIn the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, treatment for heroin addiction and addictions to other opiates ranked highly, reaching a peak the area has never seen before. This drug problem is rivaled only by alcoholism, where more than 21% of people admitted for treatment during the first half of 2012 needed help with heroin and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and oxycontin. The 5% increase from 2000 was released in a January 28th report by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Although prescription painkillers did recently hit a decline, the downslope of pill abuse has not decreased heroin addiction, which is actually still rising. The link between those addicted to painkillers and those addicted to heroin, not to mention the amount of prescriptions doled out yearly, is undisputable. For instance, hydrocodone, a highly addictive painkiller sold under the name of Vicodin, was prescribed more than 131 million times in 2011. This made the drug the most prescribed medication in the country and as hydrocodone remained number one in addiction counts in the country, word went out that the drugs were dangerous.

In Minnesota there was a sharp increase in physicians using the Prescription Monitoring Database, which has helped eliminate doctor shopping in order to obtain extra prescriptions. Physicians were also provided with more education on how to prevent abuse and updated guidelines on actually prescribing the drugs. While pill addiction has not totally been eradicated with these precautions, the decline is obviously due to them.

In the meanwhile, heroin continues to rise. Between the two drugs, prescription pills and heroin, there is a strong link for those who are addicted to one or the other. Many speculate that as it becomes harder to obtain prescription pills, and prices for them are driven up, that those addicted to the substance quickly turn to heroin. Why? Because heroin provides similar effects as prescription pills, but is much more powerful and ten times as addicting. The negative health effects of heroin use takes a greater toll and at a much swifter pace. Along with being more powerful, heroin is also far less expensive than prescription pills. The appeal is definitely there for people who are coping with a pill shortage and the results cannot be denied through the state.

Rehabilitation for heroin and prescription pills can be very difficult, as if the problem wasn't bad enough. Both drugs must be gradually decreased in use and never cut off right away. By cutting off the drugs and going cold turkey, seriously addicted people can actually die from the shortage. This paired with the incredible danger associated with using cocaine and abusing prescription pills is a serious issue in health departments across the country and is the reason for raised concern. With the population increasingly turning to heroin or becoming newly addicted, there is greater risk for a higher amount of deaths, overdoses and other misfortune.

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