In Nolan and Amico’s article, “How Bad is the Opioid Epidemic?” they argue the opioid epidemic has become the worst drug crisis in American history. Heroin and other opioids overdose kill more than 47,055 people a year. Deaths caused from drug overdose has outnumber as much as 40 percent compared to the death caused from car crashes in 2014 (Nolan and Amico 3). Furthermore, in 1999 there were only 15000 people died from drug overdose. This number has tripled in 15 years. Also, in his article, “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse” Volkow also presents the fact that “with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin. The consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise. For example, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has
The United States of America has had a war against drugs since the 37th president, Richard Nixon, declared more crimination on drug abuse in June 1971. From mid-1990s to today, a crisis challenges the health department and government on opioid regulation, as millions of Americans die due overdoses of painkillers. Opioids are substances used as painkillers, and they range from prescription medications to the illegal drug, heroin. Abusing these substances can cause a dependency or addiction, which can lead to overdoses, physical damages, emotional trauma, and death. To ease the crisis, physicians are asked to depend on alternatives to pain management. Law enforcement cracks down on profiting drug-dealers and heroin abusers. People are warned against misusing opioids. The controversy begins for those who suffer from chronic pain, because they depend on opioids. There’s so a correlation to the 1980s cocaine epidemic, and people are upset over racial discrimination. Nonetheless, the best way to avoid this crisis is to recover the people at risk, reduce inappropriate opioid description, and have a proper response.
There are no “safe heroin injection sites.” The only “safe” approach to heroin is to not take it. For addicts, the humane public health response is to help them get and stay sober, or at the very least, opioid replacement therapy in sustained treatment. Any approach without these goals is cruel and dehumanizing- not healing, but perpetuating harm. (Walter 2)
Companies promised that opioids presented no risk of addiction and soon the rates at which they were prescribed escalated (NIDA). The prescription and sale of opiates has increased by four times, following this portrayal (CDC). It soon became clear, after widespread misuse of prescription narcotics, that they indeed had addictive qualities (NIDA, 2018). Now that addiction is known to be a risk, the portrayal of prescription opioids needs to change. The medical community must portray the reality of taking opioids, to help patients better understand the dangers that come with taking
Maia Szalavitz, author of Unbroken Brain, points out in an article about our finger-pointing mentality on drug abuse, “Addiction is one of the most serious health problems we face today, and as of 2010, more than 23 million people have an addiction to drugs, and according to the National Institutes of Health, these addictions contribute to more than 100,000 deaths per year.” Drug abuse is a major problem in the United States and throughout the world as more and more people become addicted every day. When you hear the words drug addict you think of desensitizing terms, like “junkie” or “crack head,” and when you see someone panhandling for money on the street, passed out, or swaying in a doorway you likely wonder, “why don’t they just get
One profound way of combatting drug usage is to continue educating the youth and public on the fatal risks of utilizing drugs. Another aspect that the film did not touch upon is the drug policies and issues in other countries. Most of the world’s narcotic painkiller market is based in the United States, so there could be stronger laws introduced to limit who is able to access these strong pills. Moreover, countries such as Spain, have legalized most drugs, and have since seen a decrease in the usage of these drugs. These measures could be applied in the United States, and the black market where profit is made on these drugs would dissipate. Furthermore, these substances could be highly taxed like cigarettes, and made limited so that they become less accessible to the public. While recovery is a lifelong process for those already addicted, America can save the lives of tomorrow by getting the drugs out of the hands of first time
Often referred to as the “devil’s drug”, heroin in today’s society holds responsibility as one of the top killers next to murder, suicide, and car accidents. From 2002 to 2013, the number of deaths by heroin has quadrupled. In 2007, approximately 2,000 lives were taking by heroin, and these numbers increased to 8,000 by 2013. Heroin has affected thousands of people lives and killed many at an alarming rate; it now holds a spot as an epidemic in the United States. In a poem by an anonymous author, the effects of heroin are described explicitly, “If you try me, be warned this is no game. If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane. I’ll ravish your body; I’ll control your mind. I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.” Thousands of
In today’s society, there is a growing opioid epidemic. Many teens are abusing every day medicines such as depressants, stimulants and painkillers. Most teens also have an addiction for heroin. In the article, it talks about how over the counter drugs are misused by Americans aged 14 years or older. when it comes to drug abuse the number of casualties have grown exponentially. I learned that in 2012 to 2013 there was an increase of 39% of heroin related deaths. Most first time users are Caucasians. In addition, Heroin users first abuse prescription painkillers such as opioid painkillers. When it comes to teens, they choose cheaper methods of drugs because heroin is a lot cheaper then prescription pills. Heroin by its self is horrible enough,
Both locally and nationally, the opioid and heroin epidemic is greatly affecting communities everywhere. People should care about this epidemic because it is changing the way you live more than you think. As drug use increases, the average income decreases, as that person can no longer hold a job. Opioid addicts cause psychological problems, which doesn’t only affect the person with the illness, but communities as a whole, as often times they no longer keep up with personal hygiene, or function as well as a healthy individual. Drug abuse also affects the child of the user. Children of drug abusers are more likely to become users in their futures, becoming a never ending
Today, in society, there has been a huge rise in the amount of deaths due to heroin overdose and addiction. Heroin and opiate addiction is something that needs to be recognized within our society in order to help protect one another. In this essay, I will explore the different methods of treatment, health insurance issues, and how the addicts affect the society. Information involving treatment for heroin and opiate addicts needs to be more prevalent in society because we do not hear much about how to treat addicts until something goes wrong. With knowing that there are these issues in society, information about treatment and help needs to be addressed more affectively in order to prevent death and other health issues from occurring. Insurance is also a major factor that goes along with treatment, and I believe that treatment and other rehabilitation programs should partially be covered by health insurance in order for the whole process to be affordable. All of the educational parts of these issues go untouched because it is not talked about in many societies; in a news article by Dan Dearth he discusses the concerns of many police officers within the area of Washington County, MD. The police officers believe that Heroin is the up and coming drug that is going to affect many citizens, and there is no education about how Heroin affects an individuals body and mental stability. Therefore, the educational part of this situation needs to be introduced more within the society
Opioids have been banned in the United States for over 100 years, yet they still are commonly found on the streets in large part because of failed rehabilitation. Law enforcement finds themselves on the front lines of the epidemic commonly dealing with overdoses. It is a difficult tragedy to witness and they happen every day. Society looks to law enforcement for answers so how can law enforcement stop this crisis? Is there an end-all solution to the problem? The solution could be found in the roots of community policing. Responding with Naloxone is only a temporary solution that will never get to the root of the problem. It is the officer’s responsibility to know their beats, know the people who live in them and offer support to better their communities. The police role has come a long way from the crime fighter image. Simply putting users behind bars will not be a solution to this problem. Police departments must be educated on the available resources to get help and offer assistance so those that need the help can get it. As community ambassadors, law enforcement can make the biggest difference to the opioid epidemic if they properly employ the tools their community has given
The heroin epidemic’s impact on this nation has demanded action to be taken. Currently, the United States is placing an emphasis on stopping doctors from unnecessarily prescribing opiates such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin to patients because it often leads to heroin addiction. Furthermore, the country is beginning to focus its efforts on “harm reduction,” which is “a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with [heroin] use” (SouthComm Business Media LLC, 2015, para 12). One form of harm reduction is giving users clean needles at no cost. Offering help to addicts when they come for free needles will increase their chances of recovery, and clean needles prevent the spread of deadly diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. SouthComm Business Media LLC (2015) further notes, “…it costs only a dime for a needle versus $90,000 for three months of hepatitis c treatments” (para 14). Another form of harm reduction being used to combat heroin is the use of Naloxone, which reverses the effects of an overdose. Many police officers, medical personnel, family members of heroin addicts, and heroin addicts themselves carry Naloxone with them in case of an overdose. Finally, Suboxone treatment is considered as one of the more effective ways to reduce harm. Suboxone is a drug that blocks the user from getting high and makes it to where they do not crave the drug (SouthComm Business Media LLC, 2015, para 24). Stopping the
As we entered the dim living room we immediately noticed my uncle. He sat there on the ugly floral sofa looking lifeless. Today was his twenty-fourth birthday and we had come over to celebrate. My mother and I brought over cupcakes and streamers. Today was supposed to be a celebration of his life but he was so much closer to death. My mom could tell how alone and scared he was without him even speaking. I looked up at her and could see all the anger in her eyes. She wasn’t mad at her only brother, instead she was mad at heroin. That’s what brought him to this state after all. My uncle is not the only person that’s been brought to this state. Its an epidemic and the only way to win the battle against drugs and addiction is to support the government in finding a solution.
He discusses the role of government during the 1920’s. The Harrison Act (pg. 110) was passed by government making it harder to fill prescriptions of opiates and morphine. In the 1950’s officials seemed to realize the need for watching addicted-physicians, pillagers and people shopping for doctors to supply the opiates, however no consideration was given to people addicted with chronic or terminal illnesses. Bureau official devised record-keeping of medical and non-medical addicts. Eventually doctors had access to barbiturates, tranquilizers, and amphetamines so these we prescribed after the opiate addiction was coming to the fore (pg. 146). In the 1990’s OxyContin came on the scene. Cicero and Ellis (2015) discuss the ease of abusing this drug in the article Abuse-deterrent formulations and the prescription opioid abuse epidemic in the united states: Lessons learned from OxyContin. The drug was the first to be reformulated to make it hard to abuse in 2010. However, survey studies suggest that the drug-seeking behavior may have just switched to other drug choices (Vol.72 5). As pharmaceutical companies scrambled to find ways to change the formulation of these highly addictive drugs, the death rates were climbing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) shared the startling statistics in the published reports they released entitled: Drug-poisoning
If you have ever seen the movie The Wolf on Wall Street, there is no doubt you have seen the effects drugs can have. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a high-strung stock broker reliant on a multitude of illegal drugs to keep up with his hectic life style. His addiction gets so severe that at one point in the movie, he is lying on the floor, unable to move due to the drugs’ effects on his body. Even though the movie is set in the 90’s, a decade infamous for its use of drugs, today, drug usage and abuse has never been more of an issue. According to Alice Park (2016), “More people died of drug overdoses in 2014 in the U.S. than in any other year” (p.49). What people fail to realize is that drug abuse effects more than just the individual that uses them. The loved ones trying to support the user, the community the user is in, can all be affected by drug abuse. In fact, all members of society are affected by the abuse of drugs. In short, no one benefits from drug abuse. In the words of the Nation Institute of Drug Abuse, “Drug abuse is a major public health problem that impacts society on multiple levels. Directly or indirectly, every community is affected by drug abuse and addiction, as is every family. Drugs take a tremendous toll on our society at many levels” ( Magnitude, 2016).