Deadly Link Between Prescription Oxycodone and Heroin Addiction

by | Jan 8, 2023

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

At the Impact Outpatient Program, we provide more than alcohol rehab and drug rehab for illegal drugs, alone. In many cases, prescription medications, especially opioids such as Oxycodone have played a role in addiction, as well. 

Aside from the fact that patients have sought addiction treatment for Oxycodone and other opioids, we and others in the healthcare industry have found that Oxycodone use and abuse can also be linked to heroin addiction in several cases. Here, we’re going to look at the link between prescription Oxycodone and heroin addiction.

Rising Concern About the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid abuse has been skyrocketing in the US despite reassurances from pharmaceutical companies that patients would not become addicted to opioids (synthetic medications designed to replicate the effects of opiate medications without needing to be derived from an opium poppy). 

Increased prescription of opioid medications has led to just as much of a rise in opioid abuse, with one opioid, fentanyl, becoming of particular note due to its common usage in combining it with other street drugs.

Oxycodone and its various formulations have been some of the most common Opioids prescribed by doctors in the treatment of chronic pain. Now, over 2 million people in the country are dependent on or abusing prescription opioids including oxycodone. 

The Link to Heroin

Some have attempted to argue that the fact that oxycodone and other opioids are not, technically, opiates, means that they cannot lead to opiate addiction. However, the effects of the drug, in particular, its pain relief properties and the chemical dependence on it that can form over time can have long-standing consequences. 

A patient using prescription oxycodone can become reliant on it, using more and more to get the same pain relief effects as the body acclimates to it, making it less effective. Addicted patients can also start using it to stave off withdrawal.

Oxycodone is expensive, however, and only available from doctors who prescribe it. Street-level heroin can offer a much cheaper alternative and is significantly more potent than oxycodone. 

As such, many patients who have been admitted to our addiction treatment center started off using oxycodone to treat real and genuine pain, only to become addicted to heroin when they started using it as a pain relief and withdrawal symptom-treating replacement. This has led to rocketing rates of heroin addiction and heroin overdose deaths.

Battling the Rise of Opioid and Heroin Abuse

While on a grander scale, educating the public about the risk of opioid abuse and lobbying for the development of abuse-resistant medications to replace opioids is potentially the surest path to battling the worrying link between oxycodone and heroin addiction, you might also want to know how to battle it as an individual.

At our addiction treatment center, we provide comprehensive drug treatment and alcohol treatment plans designed to work for the specific needs of the individual. Here are some of the following approaches to treatment that we use:

Partial Hospitalization

For those who could use the structured and therapeutic environment of our addiction treatment center, we have day programs lasting from 6 to 8 hours long, without requiring you to stay overnight like an inpatient program. This is combined with the ongoing support through our outpatient services to ensure the most comprehensive and best standards of care we can offer.

Outpatient Programs

The outpatient program at Impact Outpatient Program is a step-down level of care program that incorporates the foundations of our core program on a less intense basis. We also have an intensive inpatient program for continued and long-term treatment that goes into great depth and provides consistent monitoring and accountability for those who could use the extra help.


Impact Outpatient Program offers virtual, telemedicine sessions to all clients. This makes it easy to fit treatment into your everyday life without missing out on things. We use telemedicine to help with scheduling appointments, viewing your treatment plan, and providing help when in-person treatment isn’t accessible.

Multiple Pathways Treatment

Impact Outpatient Program offers multiple pathways to addiction recovery through traditional and evidence-based programming at our Louisville area treatment center. Addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so we work with you to find the combination of approaches that work best for your needs.

Impact Outpatient Program Is a One-Of-A-Kind Outpatient Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center That Offers a Path to Lasting, Sustainable Recovery

If you’re concerned about opioid addiction, drug addiction, or alcohol addiction, the Impact Outpatient Program is here to help you and your loved ones. Take a look through the website to learn more about our outpatient treatment center and the various methods we use to help people struggling with addiction on the road to recovery.

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