Example Essay About Drugs and Overdose Epidemic

  • Category: Addiction, Health,
  • Words: 1937 Pages: 8
  • Published: 06 June 2021
  • Copied: 144

Opioids, heroin, and fentanyl are the leading causes of the current overdose epidemic in America. Opioids are a type of pain relieving drug, which contains the illegal drug heroin as well as powerful painkillers like oxycodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, etc. Opioids cohere to the receptor nerves in the brain, blocking pain signals. With the rise of the misuse of opioids and subsequent addiction, to reverse drug effects naloxone was introduced. Trainers in law enforcement and civilians are now being trained on how to use naloxone. There should not be safe injection sites in the United States because they will not prevent the use of drugs. Naloxone will be used in safe injection sites to reduce the number of overdose deaths, and this will not improve the current problem.

Opioid epidemic

Since 1999, deaths resulting from the opioid epidemic have been drastically increasing due to overdosing. In America, the opioid epidemic is one of the few long-lasting issues that has been going on since the early 1990s. Painkillers were a catalyst to this recurring problem. In the United States, pharmaceutical companies told doctors to not prescribe painkillers or opioids to patients because they would end up in the deadly epidemic that we are in today. Opioids were getting sold to prescription and those without prescriptions, then leading to painkillers being a drug not a cure for those in need.

During 2017 after the crisis grew rapidly, there was an emergency health meeting to discuss what opioids are doing to the country and how to battle away from the addiction that is proceeding to harm others. During the later years of the misuse in opioids, 2.1 million had a disorder and 2 million misused opioids for their first time using it. Opioids are being misused in a way to help take away stress, for pleasure, feels good to your brain, etc. In America, 40% of the overdoses comes from the misuse of the drug. Present day United States, 1,000 people every day are treated in hospitals due to the opioid crisis. While all of the stats can be confirmed, emergency public health meetings and discussions are taking too long to find a way to stop this.

The crisis is a continuous cycle there is an abundance of ideas to help these numbers from increasing radically.  In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a 5 step plan to research a treatment and recovery house for those addicted to opioids. The first step was to better the treatment and cures of the opioid crisis and improved the data statistics. Another step was to improve the pain relief other than using opioids and other drugs. There was a proposed idea that could have a huge impact on the epidemic such as bettering the target of overdoses and decrease the statistics of deaths. As time went on and more people started to value opioids more than their own health, the rise in prescription painkillers was rapidly increasing and led to the use of heroin. 

2010 painkillers wave

The second wave of prescription painkillers began in 2010 which led to the extreme use of heroin and needle exchange. The government got rid of opioids by stopping the ingredients to make opioids and stopping the manufacturer. The action of banning opioids made heroine come into the U.S. through cartels and drug dealers. Mexico has most of the cartels that produce illegal heroin and fentanyl that enters the United States. Border patrol only confiscates a small fraction of what gets into the United States.  Heroin was the secondary drug beneath opioids and was more addictive than morphine. Heroin is made of dried poppy seeds from an opium plant that is known as the dried milky substance in heroin.

The misuse of opioids leads to the use of heroin and needle exchange because of the effects internally. Opioids block a person's thinking and desire for heroin, but after the second wave was initiated, needles and other drug used substances were introduced. The other side effects of using heroin and other illegal drugs are it could possibly depress the nervous system and result in a failed respiratory system or you could possibly die. There are two ways to get heroin into your system, injecting it or inhaling it. Needles were created in the 19th century allowing people to start to shoot morphine/heroin through a vein. Syringe Exchange Organizations were started in recent years to collect used needles off the streets to help decrease the number of deaths and help save those in the community.

Syringe Exchange programs lessen the chance of those to be diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis prevention upon people who inject drugs. In 1898, heroin was starting to develop in the United States and in 1924 opioids started getting acknowledged while Congress passed a law banning heroin.  Heroin overdoses tripled from 2010 to 2015. After another type of opioid was introduced into the society, fentanyl materialized. Fentanyl isn't like opioids where it is a natural product, fentanyl is a chemical grouping. This is bad for the government because fentanyl can be made nonstop; whereas, opioids are made from natural materials.  After the misuse of fentanyl, heroin, morpheme, and other opioids, the idea of safe injection sites was proposed to help those addicted to drugs do it in a more isolated place in more safer ways.  

Safe injection sites

The proposal of safe injection sites and encampments led to people thinking it was acceptable to apply painkillers and heroin into their systems. The safe injection sites are known as supervised sites where you can inject illegal drugs and have trained ‘doctors’ to help assist you in case of an overdose. As safe injection sites are being proposed to be inserted into the United States government, other countries already have safe injection sites available. Inside of those sites is certified doctors who have naloxone. Naloxone blocks the opiate receptors in your nervous system to deny your nerves from accepting the drug leading you to overdose.  To help save the statistics of overdosing to rise, naloxone is going to get sold in public places and corner stores to help those to not overdose and cure their addiction.

Although the sites do not provide you with the drugs, they use safe injection sites to decrease the number of deaths, not for your own health. There are no safe injection sites in the United States, but there is a plan to have multiple within the next few months. Before the proposal of safe injection sites, this was an influence on the encampments that are in every city. One of the most popular cities that has the most effect on encampments in Philadelphia. In 2018, 1,200 have died from overdoses in the encampment in Kensington, meanwhile, other drug addicts live inside the encampments.

Not only does this issue affect those who are living in the encampments, but it also affects those in the community who are living around a highly precautious environment. Since the encampments were taken over and the local campers were asked to be removed from the area, 40% have gone into treatment centers and more than 24 people received ID cards to leave the camps. By asking those who lived in tents to be removed, it is different from creating safe injection sites. Those who were asked to move from the tents are getting put into health care centers for rehab, whereas those who go to safe injection sites are doing drugs with assistance to help them if they overdose. What is also helping the drug community is the reverse overdose substance, naloxone. Now those who are addicted to opioids are thinking naloxone is available so it's okay to overdose on illegal drugs. The safe injection sites and naloxone being available then leads to drug abuse and misuse of opioids more than it already appeared. 

Drug abuse

The potential for drug abuse starts with the multitude of ways that crime is associated with drug dependency. The way that drugs are associated with crime is through dealing the drugs most known as Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and amphetamines. The result of drug trafficking and selling these drugs is the actions to be done following this action. Those who are participating in drug trafficking often lead to using violence in the illegal drug market and bad behaviors due to drugs or a bad drug deal. Not only does use lead to crime dependency, committing crimes to lead to drug use.

The drug use leading to crime rate has increased from 1.8 million in 1980 to 7.3 million in 2007. If safe injection sites were not available to those who want to use drugs in a safe manner and the government was to stop allowing drugs to enter the country, a slight decrease in the crime rate would go down. Since the crime rate dependency due to drugs is still higher than expected, safe injection sites would not be the cure to it. There are 3 types of crimes related to drugs. One of them being Use-Related crime. Use-related crime is a result of people who do drugs and then commit a crime. Another type of crime is Economic-Related crime. This type of crime is shown by those who are trying to maintain their drug habit. The last type of crime is System-Related crime. System-related crime to the people who are selling the drugs. During 2014, 17% of state prisoners were wanted because they were trying to obtain money for drugs. Due to the number of people in jail and have died from drugs, safe injections sites would not be a cure for their addiction. 

Safe injection sites are not going to help the community or the people who are using opioids in any way. Federal prosecutor office said, “It is a crime, not only to use illicit narcotics but to manage and maintain sites on which such drugs are used and distributed.” Safe injection sites are proved to be destroying lives and even entire neighborhoods. By opening up, sites, where you can do illegal drugs in a legal authorization, is not going to help solve the opioids epidemic issues. Opening up safe injection sites for those who want to illegally use drugs is a violation of federal law. While using drugs is illegal to the federal law, making sites, where you do these illegal drugs in case of an overdose, will not help the United States to stop those outside of the sites to not do drugs. Safe injection sites will make the people in the community to think it is authorized to do drugs at any time. Creating these sites will increase the use of drugs and crime.

As opiates affect the world in multiple ways, safe injection sites will be the biggest effect on those who aren't using the sites. This idea will bring more crime into society and are used for injecting illegal drugs into the internal system which is not supported by the federal law. To support the idea of safe injection sites is the proposal to those inside the sites to have naloxone. Naloxone reverses the overdose making those who are are inside the safe injection sites think it is okay to overdose with the backup of the certified doctors. Safe injection sites are known for helping the local drug addicts and not removing the idea of doing illegal drugs during this crisis.  Therefore, safe injection sites are the cause of crime dependency rates going up and the rate of deaths in overdosing off of opiates going up.

Opening up safe injection sites during the opioid crisis would encourage the use of drugs and other illegal substances and challenge the government of the rules in that city about illegal drugs. Creating a site in the community would violate the homeowners in many ways because they don't want to be surrounded by drug users in that area. Opening up a site in any area would challenge the government to second guess the law over illegal drug use. This idea allows people to inject opioids in a safe way disregarding what the law is. Safe injection sites would elevate the use of drugs during this tragic epidemic. Creating safe sites is encouraging others to use drugs. A better way to help this epidemic would be to find opioid addicts a home for rehab and get clean instead of injecting drugs in safer environments. Opening up safe injection sites in the United States would not prevent drug use; using naloxone would not improve the current crisis we are undermining in the present day.

 

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