By Staff Writer
As the number of young people who abuse prescription drugs continues to grow, many experts are warning about the increased odds that these individuals will eventually turn to harder street drugs, like heroin.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that there are now more new users of prescription drugs than there are people who pick up marijuana for the first time. This indicates that more people are abusing painkillers than ever before.
As a result, many people are beginning to turn to other opiates like heroin. This substance has the same active ingredients as prescription medications like oxycodone and morphine. However, it has a significantly lower price when obtained from street dealers.
Officials from New Jersey’s State Commission of Investigation told NJ.com that this is the cause of many people turning to heroin. They said that prescription pills are the new “gateway drug,” adding that today’s pill abusers are tomorrow’s heroin addicts.
This is one of the main reasons the Obama administration cited as prompting the decision to launch a new nationwide push against the abuse of prescription drugs.