The Problem Of Opioid Addiction In The United States

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A Crisis of Epic Proportions Many people consider New Hanover County as a nice place to live. The website recently selected the waterfront in downtown Wilmington as the best American waterfront. However, all nice places have issues under the surface just like alligators living under the surface of the water in the Cape Fear River. The wicked problem facing New Hanover County is the opioid epidemic. Many communities across the United States share in this struggle. Over two million people become dependent on prescription pain pills and street opioids every year in the United States . Of those addicted, the deaths because of a heroin overdose have increased 533% between 2002 and 2016 in the United States. If the opioid crisis …show more content…

As a result, the number of people who abused these new opioids skyrocketed to the point that in 2015, 2 million people abused them. Where is the Opioid Crisis Happening? New Hanover County typifies the crisis of opioid addiction because more opioid abusers live in the rural south per capita than other areas of the United States. In fact, rural southern states comprise 88% of the top cities for opioid. Wilmington, NC, the county seat of New Hanover County, received the distinction as being the city with the highest rate of opioid addiction in the country because 11.6% of people in the city abuse opioid drugs. Not surprisingly, 2016 study “found that more than half -- 53.8 percent -- of all opioid prescriptions in the city are abused.” Some residents of New Hanover County find that statistic new and shocking. However, many others have dealt with the issue for a significant amount of time. As you leave the tourist areas of New Hanover County, you find public housing projects, trailer parks, and parks littered with discarded hypodermic needles. To people who live in these places, the opioid crisis already made an impact on everyday life and no longer captures people’s attention. For example, Joe Stanley, a former addict interviewed by NC Policy Watch said that people in Wilmington had been dealing with a drug problem for years. However, it has become big news “because you’re seeing that other demographic

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