While some people may argue that heroin addicts began shooting dope for pain management as a cheaper alternative to prescription drugs, studies show this may not be the right conclusion. Pain management comes with age or trauma in most cases. Yet studies show that 90% of Americans who are addicted to drugs used them before age 18, well before most people experience chronic pain.
Why Do Some Believe Shooting Dope is Part of Pain Management?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those who misuse pain prescriptions are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin. And that 75% of people in treatment for opioid addiction started with prescription painkiller abuse.
But this information can be misleading. Another study shows 75% of recreational opioid users got their pills from family, friends, or dealers; not doctors. Among that 75%, only 4% abused heroin within five years.
The Truth About Pain Management and Opioid Abuse
More than 135,000 emergency room visits for opioid overdose reviewed found only 13% of patients presented a chronic pain diagnosis. The Cochrane review found that only 1% of new opioid pain medication users will become addicted.
What these studies show is that pain management plays little to no significant role in shooting dope.
The Real Factors in Shooting Dope
A 10-month study in Chicago found 75% of heroin users were shooting dope to self-medicate a mental health problem. The study also found that 2/3 of the people surveyed are thrill seekers looking to buy heroin without being caught.
Researchers involved in the study are concerned with student stress levels leading to heroin abuse. Students are dealing with depression and anxiety and are at high risk for drug abuse. There is also concern around the climbing suicide rates across the country among students.
What Can Be Done to Stop Students from Shooting Dope?
Teach students to recognize symptoms of stress and effective ways to cope with stress. Teachers, school counselors, and parents should also learn the symptoms of stress and coping mechanisms to help students through difficult times.
The chart of stress symptoms below was created by learnpsychology.org to help college students identify stress.
How to Reduce Stress Without Shooting Dope
- Once stress is identified, find ways to calm down other than shooting dope. Meditation, journaling, and confiding in a counselor are healthy choices.
- Eat balanced meals and healthy snacks. Limit caffeine as it will increase anxiety.
- Get plenty of sleep to feel clear and increase memory.
- Exercise regularly to release tension. Yoga is a great choice for a low impact exercise.
- Learn to schedule activities so there is plenty of time to complete important tasks, like studying for final exams.
Get Help for Shooting Dope
If you suspect a loved one is shooting dope, contact Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616. Addiction specialists can guide you through choosing the right treatment for your loved one. If your loved one is not ready to get help, we can direct you towards peer groups to help you deal with addiction and its effects on your family. Call today.