Relationship between Nonmedical Prescription-Opioid Use and Heroin Use

Available data indicate that the nonmedical use of prescription opioids is a strong risk factor for heroin use. Yet, although the majority of current heroin users report having used prescription opioids nonmedically before they initiated heroin use, heroin use among people who use prescription opioids for nonmedical reasons is rare, and the transition to heroin use appears to occur at a low rate.

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