Dr Oz: Surprising Faces Of Heroin Addiction + Prevention

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Dr Oz: Everyday Women Addicted To Heroin

Dr Oz started his show by introducing Cynthia, a mother of eight, grandmother, and former member of the PTA. He also introduced Stephanie, an honor student and all-conference softball star. They both became heroin addicts.

At age 42, after seven C-sections, Cynthia had built up some scar tissue which created hip pain that got so bad she saw a doctor and was prescribed Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Soma, Flexeril, and Valium. After a month of taking the pills, she couldn’t go a day without them and after six months she was up to six 80 mg Oxycontin a day.

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Stephanie said she reached her turning point in college when she came down with a stomach virus and was admitted to the hospital. When she was released she was prescribed 5 mg Percocet, and she liked the way they made her feel. She was then introduced to 30 mg Percocet and crushed it up and snorted it.

Dr Oz: Developing A Heroin Addiction

Dr Oz: Surprising Faces Of Heroin Addiction + Prevention

Dr Oz talked to two women who seem like everyday women next door, except they became heroin addicts. They explained how it happened, and Dr Oz shared what you can do to stop it before it starts. (JordiDelgado / Shutterstock.com)

Cynthia’s doctor left town and the doctor that took over his practice looked at what Cynthia was taking and started cutting her back right away. She said it was too late though, and her addiction was in full bloom. Cynthia was eventually using up her one-month supply of pain medication in one week, and had to find something to get her through the next three weeks. She went to the house of a high school kid who she knew was dealing, picked up some “balloons,” and went home to her garage and smoked heroin for the first time. She said she was in heaven.

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Stephanie shared that her addiction got so bad that she started to steal from anyone she could, including her parents and her jobs, until the pills “dried up.” Her boyfriend introduced her to heroin, which at first she didn’t want to try because she thought she was better than that, but it was cheap and it was available.

Dr Oz: Suffering From Heroin Addiction

Cynthia started to sell one of her Oxycontin and to get enough heroin for three days, which was “more bang for her buck.” She said she felt guilty, worthless, alone, and scared and said she knew she was going to die. Stephanie said she was the all-American child who grew up in a great home and became a heroin addict.

Dr Oz: Struggling With Addiction

Dr Oz had Cynthia and Stephanie on his show and Cynthia said, “The mirror is a really ugly place for an addict.” She said she had stopped looking years ago, and toward the end of her addiction she actually caught a glimpse of herself in a full-length mirror. She weighed 95 pounds and “the skin was hanging off [her] bones.” She knew in her heart that the look told her she was dying, and all of the sudden she didn’t want to die.

Stephanie said heroin filled a void and became her best friend. She said it took over what family used to do for her.

Dr Oz: Heroin Addiction

Dr Oz welcomed addiction specialist Seth Jaffe who is actually a former addict himself. He started by thanking Dr Oz full “pulling back the curtain” and showing the new faces of heroin addiction in the new millennium.

Seth then said unfortunately, this country is being flooded with “a tsunami of heavily addictive narcotic pain medication, and this tsunami is not going back into the ocean.” He said our country needs an intervention because this is here to stay. He pointed out that they’re even giving people medication for pain that they also give to terminal cancer patients. He said the drugs were created to help people in “number 10 pain.” He said the drugs are so addictive that once you take them for a long period of time, you build up a tolerance and you need more until God forbid the doctor stops.

Dr Oz: Addicts Turning To Heroin

Seth said economics is what comes into play, causing people to go from prescription medications to street drugs. Heroin is $10 a bag, which as Dr Oz pointed out, is cheaper than cigarettes. Cynthia shared that about six months ago she got a phone call from her heroin dealer from three and a half years ago who offered her heroin again. She said immediately she could taste the heroin again and she even considered going to get money out to get it. She said if it weren’t for the fact that she daily works a 12 step recovery program, she would’ve been driving to her dealer.

Dr Oz: Overcoming Addiction

Dr Oz shared that it was recently revealed that heroin related deaths are up 40% in this country. He then turned to Becky in the audience, who is Stephanie’s mother. Becky shared that when her daughter was in the middle of her addiction, “it was like living in the eye of a tornado.” She said she and her husband did everything they could and they couldn’t fix it. Stephanie has been clean now for over two years, but three or four years ago, they didn’t know where to go for help. She said she didn’t realize how long it takes to heal from the disease, but her daughter is her hero now.

Stephanie said for her to be able to forgive herself first and then ask her parents for forgiveness, and for them to welcome her back, they’ve been very understanding and supportive. Becky said, “She wasn’t a bad person trying to get good, she was a sick person trying to get well.” That was perhaps the most beautiful part of this segment.

Dr Oz: Prevent Addiction

Dr Oz then turned to Dorothy, who lost her son to a heroin overdose. Dorothy said she wants everyone to know that it is behind closed doors, “but those doors are next door.” She said one in every three families are affected in some way by addiction. She wants to help someone open their eyes and ears to what she has to say, hoping it will do something. Dr Oz then hugged her and apologized for what she had to go through.

Dr Oz said the road to abuse and addiction has been paved by doctors, because the drugs are over-prescribed, but people have the power to stop it before it starts. He then suggested you have only one doctor prescribe pain medications, and then after a surgery or procedure, only take your pain medication for a week, then switch to something less potent. Also, when you don’t need it anymore, flush it down the toilet or throw it away.

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