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Dr. Oz: Heroin and painkiller Zohydro addiction, and gluten-free supergrain

Dr. Oz and Sanjay Gupta: Heroin and Zohydro painkiller addiction
Screengrab from Fox TV

Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed the nation's mushrooming addiction to heroin and to the prescription painkiller Zohydro on the July 2 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.

Dr. Oz's guest was neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Drs. Oz and Gupta are extremely concerned about the addictive pain medication Zohydro because it's five times stronger than any other painkiller on the market. "It has 50 milligrams of hydrocodone — five times more than Vicodin," said Dr. Oz.

Dr. Gupta said there's a huge potential for abuse with such a powerful drug. He said Americans consume 80 percent of the painkillers on the market, and noted there have been numerous deaths from accidental overdoses.

There are concerns that Zohydro could be a gateway drug to heroin because the pills can be crushed and snorted in powder form, just like heroin. Dr. Oz shares this concern, pointing out that four out of five heroin users started off being addicted to prescription drugs.

Growing Heroin Addiction Among Suburban Moms

On a separate segment of his show, Dr. Oz's guest was consumer and investigative reporter Elisabeth Leamy, who uncovered a startling new phenomenon: Suburban moms addicted to heroin. Leamy confirmed that most heroin addictions start off as addictions to prescription painkillers.

Since 2007, heroin addiction has doubled in the United States, with middle-class suburban moms now comprising a significant portion of drug buyers, ABC News reported. A recent government study indicates that 620,000 people admitted to using heroin in 2011, twice the number in 2003.

Sober coach Seth Jaffe told Dr. Oz the slippery slope to heroin addiction begins when a mom seeks the high she used to get from painkillers but wants a cheaper alternative without going through a doctor.

"Heroin abuse is hell disguised as heaven," said Jaffe, who said doctors need to understand how prescription medications could contribute to drug addiction down the line.

Gluten-Free Supergrain Kaniwa Is a High-Fiber Superfood

Dr. Oz said his newest superfood is the gluten-free supergrain kaniwa. He usually has kaniwa for breakfast with some milk, and said cooking it is easy: Simply boil it for 20 minutes like oatmeal. Dr. Oz said kaniwa's health benefits include the following:

  • Kaniwa packs more protein than than brown rice or quinoa
  • Contains more iron than buckwheat or bulgur
  • Has more fiber than wild rice or millet.
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