Pain Killers Vs Heroin

Matt:                    Hey guys, this is Matt and Greg with Project Unbroken. Today we wanted to talk a little bit about the differences between pills and heroin, or at least the differences with our experience with the two of them. I think we can go off on a pretty good tangent on this.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    What do you think the main differences are, in your mind? Your experience, or the high itself, or whatever it is?

Greg:                    You know, it’s weird because pain killers … I started with Oxycontin. That was the first pain killer I ever remember taking. From there, I started taking pain killers maybe once or twice a week. You were right there with me, pretty much. We controlled it for a while. We thought we were controlling it, at least, but we were doing it maybe once or twice a week, I would say. We did that for a good year or two, and then we hit heroin, about a year or two after we started pain killers. At that point, the pain killers probably went up a little bit in use, but it was like as soon as we hit heroin, it was like … You know what I mean, it was like a steam roll. I haven’t put my finger on, is heroin more addictive, or was I further in my addiction, or what’s going on there? I know for sure that when I hit heroin, I started steam rolling in my addiction to opiates.

For me, I think a big difference also was that pain killers seem to be cleaner. You know, they’re prescribed by doctors. They’re given out freely. Whereas heroin is almost like a dirty feeling. At the same time, when that heroin hit, even though it had that dirty feeling, which I was like, ugh, this stuff, ugh. That’s when my stuff started steam rolling, so it’s a weird kind of difference there, that I don’t know how to explain totally.

Matt:                    Yeah, and you know, when I knew we were going to be talking about this topic, that’s … the fact that me most off guard is … same thing happened. Greg and I were messing with pills. It was fairly manageable, so to say. It wasn’t an everyday thing. A lot of times it was every day, but we could still take a day off here and there. We could still, if we felt it getting out of control, we could pump the brakes a little bit. It was more of a social thing. As soon as heroin was introduced, it’s like the wheels fell off. It surprises me, thinking back on it now … because my idea of heroin, like you said, is just so much more grimy. I don’t know. I’m not sure if it’s because heroin’s cheaper or more available. I know a lot of times when we were looking to get pills, people just wouldn’t have them. You know, I think you get a prescription and there’s 30 of them, and they’re in high demand. They kind of just go.

No matter what it was, there was something about heroin that was, it turned into … the frequency of use just went through the roof.

Greg:                    You know, you just said something that kind of hit with me, and that’s, people get a prescription, they run out. There wasn’t like a ton of people really selling pills, you know? It’s maybe like you said, the same person is getting a prescription, and then selling them when they come in. Maybe that’s why we controlled it for so long. Maybe they’re only around once or twice a week, whereas heroin … Once you find a heroin connect, you have a real … I’m not saying people who sell pills aren’t real drug dealers, but usually they’ll get a prescription and kind of sell what they got, rather than like, buy pills in bulk, I think. Whereas a heroin dealer, that’s their job. They’re dealing heroin. They have it all the time, and you can constantly get it.

I think that’s definitely a big difference there as far like, how it can spiral out of control a lot quicker there, or-

Matt:                    Accessibility.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    I mean, because to be honest, if you and I had full access to pills forever, we would have never done heroin.

Greg:                    You’re right.

Matt:                    You know what I mean? The first time I did it, I really didn’t want to do it, but I wanted to be high, so I was like, “Alright.” If we always had pills, we would have never … I’m saying, if you just, whatever you wanted, snap your fingers. We would have never been like, “Yeah, I’ll try heroin.” It was just, pills weren’t accessible.

Greg:                    I think one of the bigger dangers of pills is what we both talked about earlier, where it’s almost like a cleaner feel. You’re like, “Well, people get prescribed these by doctors, like medical professionals, so it’s really not that bad.” That can kind of catch you off guard, because it’s really easy to get addicted to them.

Matt:                    Well, the other thing is, is at least in our circumstance, even the people we were buying them from illegally were our friends. We knew them. We weren’t buying heroin from our friends.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    That was a whole another … ball game, I’ll say. When we were getting pills, it’d be like, “Oh, we went to school with that kid. He’s getting them from, wherever.” I don’t know. It’s just the heroin thing, it was … I was like, “Oh man, we’ve got to like, go in some sketchy parts of town. We got to be dealing with some sketchy people.” Pills, never had that. Again, like it was just a level of cleanliness to the whole thing.

Greg:                    It’s a little off topic … It’s almost like alcohol. Alcohol is like so socially accepted, so people are like, “It’s not a big deal.” People easily get caught up in alcoholism. I mean, it’s the same thing with pain killers, where it’s like, doctors prescribe it and they feel cleaner. People are like, “I’ll just deal a little bit here and there.” You get caught. You get caught in that addiction.

Matt:                    Absolutely. My grandmother’s taking them. It can’t be that bad.

Greg:                    Right.

Matt:                    Like, I’m just taking one of her pills.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    Yeah, that’s a really dangerous spot to be in. I think a lot of times, if people don’t have a substance abuse problem, they might not understand or even know to look for kids raiding the medicine cabinet. I remember, you know-

Greg:                    That’s a good point, you know, parents aren’t going to have heroin sitting in the medicine cabinets a lot of the times. They’re going to have pain pills.

Matt:                    Yeah, exactly. The accessibility factor, again … That’s where it switches. I’m just kind of figuring this out as we’re talking about it. When you’re getting started, the accessibility to pills is way more wide open. You look in a couple medicine cabinets, and I did. I mean, it’s no secret. You find that, that’s where you’re going to find them. You will not find heroin in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet, nine times out of ten. Then that switches when the habit is out of control, and you’re like, “I need pills every day.” We weren’t able to find a source like that, and heroin, when we found that source, it was. It’s like, you need something every day? This is your ticket. It’s cheaper. It’s around.

Greg:                    Yeah, so I think one of the bigger dangers of pills would be that the, just the aura around them, they’re not as bad. It’s easy to get caught up with them. Obviously, I think one of the bigger dangers of heroin, is you never know what you’re getting in the bag, you know? They’re cutting it with carfentanyl, which is the elephant tranquilizer. I mean, you never know what you’re going to get in the heroin bag. Whereas pills, you usually know the exact dose. I’d say, that’s how pills are safer, but I think they’re sneakier, where they can draw people in, and then heroin kind of comes in and takes over.

Matt:                    Yeah, I mean, it’s absolutely pills have kind of an innocence about them. I mean, they’re clean. They’re in a bottle. Doctors prescribe them, again. Then you’re right, but it’s also … It’s a very slippery slope. I will say that if you’re kind of experimenting with pills or anything like that, and heroin is introduced to you the way it was introduced to us, you have to be very aware that it’s a different animal.

Greg:                    That’s a very good point.

Matt:                    I mean, it’ll really … It caught us completely off guard. Again, we’ve talked before. Greg and I aren’t naïve. We grew up being like, “Yeah, who would ever do heroin?” It’s just one of those things, you find yourself in a situation, you’re like, “Alright.” You know, and one thing leads to another. Heroin definitely, as soon as that was introduced, it snowballed out of control. Be very aware of that before you cross that line. You don’t want to make that mistake.

Greg:                    That’s a very good point to finish on. I don’t know, I’m not a medical professional. I don’t know the chemical makeup, but I know it’s very similar. I think a lot of people, when they make that transition, they’re like, “Well, it’s kind of like the same thing … They’re both opiates.”

Matt:                    That’s what I thought, yeah.

Greg:                    It’s definitely not the same thing. It’s a complete different level, and it can easily snowball. Once you do it once, you’re in big trouble. Then it’s the whole thing of well, I already did it once. I’ll just do it one more time. Then you’re caught, and it’s a whole cycle.

Matt:                    Yeah. Don’t cross that line. Thanks for watching, guys. If you have any questions or topics that you’d like us to cover, leave us a comment, or check out the contact section at We’d love to interact with you guys a little bit and hear what you want to hear about. Thanks for watching. We look forward to talking to you soon.

Greg:                    See y’all soon.

In Category: Addiction

Greg Morrison

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