We Must Stop The Opiate Addiction

2551 Words May 12th, 2016 11 Pages
Why is it when someone is diagnosed with heart disease people are concerned and feel empathy for the person, but when someone is diagnosed with an addiction to drugs they are faced with alienation and ridicule? It should be treated as the disease it is, and not as though it is a choice. The perceptions that still linger in our society about addicts are unfortunate, despite the decades of scientific research soundly disproving those views. The numbers of opiate addicts are increasing steadily every year. Clearly there is a much larger issue at hand. Addicts were traditionally found in low-income areas, with high unemployment rates. Now, there are many people that are employed, living in rural areas, also abusing drugs. This shows that these are not just personal issues as one might think. If we take this as an example from the concept of Mill’s sociological imagination (Mills, The Promise, 2008), we can see that the ways in which our culture handles addition is obviously failing. We should stop criminalizing opiate addiction, and use the money that is accumulated for imprisonment on reconnecting addicts with society.
I understand why we started the current system in the first place. At the time we didn’t understand that addiction is a disease. We thought that it was a choice, and if we threatened users, they would stop. The hard truth is that a person with a chronic dependency on drugs will literally kill themselves using it, even if the person is not suicidal. I have seen…

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