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There are many similarities that can be drawn between heroin and prescription painkillers. Both are opioid drugs, meaning they have very similar effects when it comes to use and misuse. Opioids work on the brain in a unique way. When the chemicals in opioids reach the brain, it is picked up by receptors that trigger brain processes in the reward system, creating feelings of pleasure or euphoria [1]. As use continues, people need higher and higher doses of opioids just to feel the same effects. This leads to debilitating addiction that can derail a person’s life. Because heroin and prescription painkillers work in similar opioid pathways, switching between the two is common for many users. At Detox of Delray, we can help with opiate detox and other kinds of detox in Delray Beach. If you are struggling, it’s time to call us for help.

How Opiate Addiction Starts

It starts simply enough. Your doctor writes you a prescription for a painkiller after a dental procedure, injury, or other situation. For some people, the pills do not become addictive. But for others, addiction can happen. Studies show that those who had previously used opioid prescription drugs were 19 times more likely to being using heroin [2].

It is estimated that approximately 1.9 million Americans are addicted to opioid painkillers. And as these prescriptions run out, many turn to other opioids to get their fix. Because heroin and opioid painkillers behave similarly in the brain, many people turn to heroin after they can no longer get a hold of opioids.

The Dangers of Opioids

Opioids are incredibly dangerous on their own, and fentanyl is making things increasingly dangerous. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl, heroin, and other opiates cause issues with respiratory function and other vital systems. Overdoses can be deadly with these opiates.

Fentanyl is increasing the dangers of prescription drug abuse and opiate detox. Many illegal drug makers are cutting heroin, pills, and other opiates with fentanyl in the mix. They do this because fentanyl is cheaper to manufacture, yet it produces a strong high. But, users aren’t aware how much fentanyl is in their drugs, making things potentially deadly.

If you or someone you love is struggling with opiates such as heroin or painkillers, it’s time to get sober. Our outpatient detox in Delray Beach supports recovery through personalized detox services and support systems. Contact us today to start on the journey of sobriety.



1- NCBI, The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence

2- Heroin.net, Heroin and Opioid Painkillers: What’s the Difference?


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