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Vermont Sees Heroin Abuse Rise as OxyContin Use Falls

The Boston Globe recently reported “OxyContin use down in Vt. but heroin use increases” and discussed what surely must be a frustrating situation for officials in that state.

The manufacturer of OxyContin changed the formula of the drug to make it less appealing to illicit drug users. Instead of being able to chew or grind up the time-release pain medication for a quick high, users find that with the new version, OxyContin pills become gummy when they try to grind them up. This was a deterrent to users and those who work in drug abuse prevention in Vermont were cheered by the change.

However, young substance abusers turned to heroin to replace OxyContin. Their tendency is to snort it so the don’t have to use needles since needles may be contaminated and as The Boston Globe reports, there is a “stigma” connected with needles that they would like to avoid.

The fact that drug users in Vermont switched their drug of choice once it was more difficult to use illustrates that substance abuse is not about an attraction to or interest in a particular drug. Substance abuse goes much deeper than that.

At Transitions Recovery, we know that recovery from drug and alcohol abuse requires time. Patients must create new support systems, learn to live in a drug or alcohol-free world and gain a true sense of the possibilities the future holds for them. Our approach involves supporting the individual and family throughout each stage of the substance abuse treatment and recovery process.