When many of us were growing up, we had a conversation about the dangers of drugs. In those discussions, most of us remember hearing about the dangers of marijuana, and how it could become a gateway drug. Fast forward to the age of the current drug epidemic we have in the United States, and we see that there is a new gateway drug, and it can be found in the medicine cabinet in many American households. Opioids such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, and Percocet have caused a widespread epidemic across the country affecting millions of families.

Even though these drugs are legal, and usually prescribed by doctors, opioids are not only extremely addicting but also extremely dangerous. Some of these drugs cause similar effects that resemble those of heroin. And if taken in quantities more than what is recommended by medical professionals, can lead to overdoses. In the year 2015, around 15,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the United States alone. Among the 47,000 deaths by drug overdoses in 2014, 61% of these deaths involved an opioid according to the Center for Disease Control.

Taking aside the addictive nature of these drugs, opioids are also dangerous because they can potentially lead users to experiment with harsher drugs such as heroin. There are many factors that could cause opioid abusers to switch to heroin. One main reason many opioid users switch to heroin is the cost. Heroin is a cheaper alternative to popular opioids, especially when a user needs more than what they can get from prescription given to them by their doctor. Many opioid users find themselves turning to street alternatives when they can no longer be frescoed opioids by their doctors.

The switch to heroin is deadly on many levels. First, just by itself, heroin is a deadly narcotic that claims countless lives every day. However, many street dealers are mixing heroin with other powerful opioids such as fentanyl, which is anywhere between 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Many dealers mix opioids such as fentanyl with heroin with the goal of making their product stronger in order to increase demand from other users. Aside from mixing heroin with other narcotics, heroin usage is also extremely dangerous in terms of the risk of diseases associated with this type of drug use. With many users choosing injection as a means of consumption, many users who share needles run the risk of transmitting diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

The good news is though, there are drug rehab centers such as Ranch Creek Recovery that are aimed at targeting addictions to opioids and other drugs. Ranch Creek Recovery is able to assist patients with overcoming addictions to opioids and other narcotics by offering alternative forms of treatment. Unlike many other drug rehab centers, Ranch Creek Recovery invites those suffering from addiction to seek more holistic forms of treatment. Along with different talking based therapies, Ranch Creek Recovery allows patients to benefit from holistic treatments such as acupuncture, amino acid, gong sound therapy, and yoga. These forms of treatment help patients focus not only on overcoming their addiction but treating their bodies and minds as well.

The topic of drug addiction treatment can be a difficult conversation to have. It is important to reassure someone you suspect is addicted to opioids that there is help available to them if they want to make a change. You should encourage them to speak to a medical professional to learn more about different drug rehabilitation programs that are available in their area. Choosing the right drug treatment center can be difficult and there is a lot to consider when making this decision, however, remember this isn’t a decision that has to be made alone.