Opioid Epidemic In America

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One of the leading causes of accidental death in America is due to drug overdose, with heroin and prescription pain killers causing more deaths than any other drug. The heroin or opioid epidemic, which is spread throughout America is quickly increasing. While not everyone is directly affected by the epidemic and the issues that surround it everyone is indirectly affected by it whether they know it or not. Drug addiction, especially involving opioids has no boundaries or “ideal” person that it affects. It has no limits. While many believe that drug addicts belong to an exclusive group of the homeless, poor, or indigent that is not always the case. Some of these people known as “career addicts” are even able to maintain a job and a steady life …show more content…

This issue not only affects the victims of this epidemic, but also the lives of the people surrounding them. The heroin epidemic disrupts the lives of thousands of people across America each and every day without them even knowing it. While this issue has been brought to the public’s attention it is still not viewed as socially acceptable by many. Often times when someone is known to struggle with addiction they aren’t offered the help that they need. Instead they are shamed and expected to handle it on their own. As I stated earlier, the success rate of recovery programs is extremely low and not always easily accessible for those in need due to the availability of insurance or the cost of treatment. Not only are treatment centers sometimes difficult to get into, but they also do not always provide enough help for the patients in the program. Even if patients are successful during their stay at the treatment center they often relapse shortly after they are released and either give up, return to the treatment center, or end up in a detention facility. When society looks at substance abuse they often look at it as a “problem” to be fixed instead of a disease, such as …show more content…

By taking the necessary steps to create these prevention programs we can drastically lower the amount of people who are affected by this disease and continue to help those who are already in need. First, I argue that we can do this by expanding and improving drug education in the public education system. One of the most widespread drug education programs for grade level schools, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, known as DARE or the “just say no” program created by Nancy Reagan is still being used in today (Friedman). Unfortunately, this program proved to be ineffective with research showing that students who participated in the program were just as likely to use drugs as those who did not participate. While researchers are still debating over kind of disease addiction is they believe that it could genetic or psychological, which could open up the door for specialized drug education prevention programs (Katel, Friedman). For example, if we know that those who are at a higher risk for drug addiction carry certain traits in their DNA or show other psychological signs then we can test for these characteristics early on and create a program that is specifically targeted to help those specific individuals. Not only would a drug education program like the example that I provided be more

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