The Heroin Epidemic Of The United States Essay example

The Heroin Epidemic Of The United States Essay example

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Sooner rather than later, the heroin epidemic that is currently sweeping through the United States may directly or indirectly affect all of us. Over the past 10-15 years, the number of reported heroin abuse cases has risen exponentially, and this trend still appears to be on an upward trajectory with unimaginable limits. According to a khn.org poll, about 40% of those surveyed know someone who is battling heroin addiction, with a large proportion of that group pointing out that a family member is the victim of addiction.

Specifically, this epidemic has been running rampant throughout the midwest and mid-atlantic regions of the United States (with some outliers), as this map from the CDC clearly illustrates:

Personally, living in the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, I have heard countless news stories and personal tragedies regarding the dangers of heroin, and I also lost a friend and co-worker to an overdose earlier this year. I have interacted with and met a plethora of individuals with first-hand experience fighting the heroin epidemic. I had the chance to interview two local individuals with unique proximity to and perspective on this nagging issue, one a rehab clinic admissions counselor and the other a detective with a local District Attorney 's office, both from Pennsylvania as well.

According to the admissions counselor, who has more than twenty years of first-hand experience in the fight against heroin, the problem has evolved over the past few years, and many states neighboring Pennsylvania provide her clinic with patients. She says: "We treat equal amounts of patients from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and all [of these states] have the same heroin epidemic. The awareness and focus upon heroi...


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...problem, the U.S. could see an annual death total due to drugs (again, a large portion due to heroin and opioids) of nearly 100,000. This is clearly a problem that must be addressed head-on, and the current policies and action being taken is certainly not enough. Here in Ithaca, plans for a supervised heroin injection center are in place, and steps like this could lead to a steady decline in the number of addicts, deaths and tragedies. This problem, left unconfined, could spread rampantly and eventually could be a very real danger some of us will need to confront. But, action now could lead to a resolution of the problems that the war on drugs could never solve. Even if just one baby is prevented from being born an addict, or one coworker, or family member, or friend 's life is saved, isn 't it worth it to try a little harder, to think a little bit outside of the box?

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