Prescription drug abuse is not only a continuing plague nationwide, but could also be a gateway for increased heroin use, according to a recent NBC News article.

There has been a roughly 20 percent increase in overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers since 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The pathway appears to be now moving from the prescription drugs to heroin, a very dangerous development,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The White House Office of National Drug control policy stated that many heroin users today appear to have gotten their start taking prescription pain drugs. Opioid prescription painkillers have the same effect on the brain and body as heroin does, causing physical addiction.

Health insurance companies must now cover substance abuse treatment under provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Read the full story here:

Prescription Drugs Could Be Gateway to Heroin, Officials Say

The abuse of prescription pain killers and heroin has been a problem for a long time. Many of these abusers start out as innocent victims of negligence that causes unrelenting pain. Painkillers should be used as a last resort and thrown out as soon as possible.

If you or anyone in your family has suffered serious side effects or damages from a medication error you should seek legal investigation immediately. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.