Chris shares how he got hooked on heroin at a young age.

My name is Chris Murack, I’m 25 and I’m from Massachusetts.

I had some injuries when I was younger and was prescribed pills. I went there because I had hurt my knee. And you know he just kind of felt around on my knee.

He’s like, “So you’re in pain?” I’m like, “Yeah I’m in pain.” He’s like, “Okay I’ll prescribe you this.”

The number of prescriptions for opioids risen from 76 million in 1991 to nearly 207 million in 2013 (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Over 70% of drug overdose deaths in 2019 involved an opioid (CDC).

I ended up taking all of them within the first night.

I went back the next day – I was 14 – and I went back the next day and was like, “They fell and got wet and they all like dissolved.” And he’s like, “Yeah, alright no problem it’s happened sometimes.” Wrote me another prescription. Like with no MRI’s – no type of anything – just by me saying I was in pain. And I definitely think like, that it just made it so easy.

It started to get worse to where I would just–you know–people who I knew would be able to get something like that on the street. It started with me buying Percocet just because they were everywhere. And you know, there were just so many people who I knew who could just — all I had to do was pick up my phone and they would bring them to wherever I was.

Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers (ASAM).

It was just so much cheaper and you could get the same high from $20 worth of heroin that you’d have to pay like $120 of pills for and that’s what made it – for me that was just like a no-brainer at the time. Like, well, you know, going through money, like I have enough to blow every single day so why not buy this thing that’s cheaper — I might not know what’s in it but it gives me the same type of feeling.

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