The Atlanta based Center for Disease Control, or CDC, has confirmed a link between opioid abuse and heroin use. This link was identified by the rates of overdose deaths from prescription opioid abuse and the fatal overdose rates of heroin use. There have been many critics who believe that prescription opioid pain medications have been over prescribed in the USA and other countries, and heroin use today often results from opioid use. In the past this was not typically true. In the 1960s and 1970s individuals who abused heroin typically started out with this street drug but that is no longer true today. 3 out of 4 people who abuse heroin and who were surveyed after 2000 started with opioid abuse, and then moved to heroin because it was cheaper and easier to find on the street.
The current rate of opioid abuse and heroin use is often blamed on doctors who are too quick to write out a prescription for pain medications, and this can lead to opioid addiction in many people. Someone who has a history of opioid abuse or heroin use should avoid narcotics at all costs, even if these drugs are called for. A recovering addict can relapse if they use these types of prescription medications, and someone who takes opioid medications on a regular basis runs the risk of developing an addiction. When the physician will no longer prescribe opiates then the individual may turn to heroin use in order to continue to feed the addiction.