From Business Insider, of all places – they seem to be hiring (a few) real reporters, finally.
The entire article is well worth reading, but here’s the cautionary paragraph for Greenwich parents:
The biggest reason for the current heroin epidemic is the explosion of prescription opioid use over the last decade. As has been well-documented, the widespread prescription of opioids to treat pain and the subsequent diversion of said drugs for illicit uses created a huge, new population of users addicted to opioids.
I work with many, many young heroin users, as a volunteer, and almost all of them tell me they started on Oxycontin, and only switched to heroin when oxeyes became too expensive. Frighteningly, and ironically, a huge percentage of those kids tell me they first got hooked on oxyies when they were prescribed for sports injuries. “Do sports, not drugs” has it exactly wrong. (As an aside, I started this work with the idea I’d be working with young alcoholics but, while the drug users also have alcohol problems, there seem to be almost no pure-alcoholics left in the under-twenty crowd. That’s too bad, because, in my experience, alcoholism is easier to treat, at least a little).
Doctors are clueless on this stuff – I’ve read that they get a couple of hours on addiction in medical school, although that may be an overstatement for effect; regardless, they’ll prescribe large quantities to young athletes, with refills, and fail to monitor them for signs of addiction.
So if doctors can’t do it, you as a parent have to. I can guarantee you that young junkies now come from some of the finest families in the country – this is not a ghetto plague, and it can happen to even your Harvard body, or girl.