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Argument Paper/Critical Thinking

1830 words - 8 pages


The Needle Exchange Program |

Drug epidemics have come and gone many times in the United States throughout its history, but the heroin epidemic of today has taken such a stronghold that we might have to switch to a less conventional and less popular approach to resolving this issue . Heroin use is mostly synonymous with famous actors, actresses and musicians and their untimely deaths. People such as John Belushi, Janice Joplin, Chris Farley, River Phoenix, Shannon Honn (lead singer of Blind Melon) and the most recent addition that has brought heroin back into the spotlight is the recent death of one of the most beloved actors and producers of his time, Phillip Seymour ...view middle of the document...

In the 1970s and 80’s, Heroin, which was the DOC (drug of choice) among celebrities and inner-city addicts alike but its popularity declined in the 1980s as the HIV/AIDS crisis brought worries of infection-carrying needles and therefore the crack, a cheap substitute for the, “addict on a budget,” but now experts say, heroin is officially back. (, 1994) That article was written back in 1994 when there was apparently what appeared to be the beginning of what was going to be an epidemic but what we have now is a perfect storm for the return of the overwhelming popularity of heroin. From 2007 to 2012, the number of Americans using heroin nearly doubled, from 373,000 to 669,000, according to the federal government’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, released last fall.(Mail Online) Drug officials say the recent rise in heroin use across the US over the last few years comes as a result of prescription drug abuse, with pill addicts getting the same high from heroin at a much cheaper price. The main cause of the latest and most powerful resurgence can be mostly attributed to the combination involving a crackdown on illegal 'pill mills' producing prescription drugs like OxyContin, which gives same high as heroin, pill addicts have turned to heroin because it’s cheaper and available, and it is now even popular in rural and suburban areas, not just inner city and users can single hits for as little as eight dollars, while drug cartels are continuously pushing ever-larger amounts across the Southwestern border. (Placeholder1) When you take these facts and place them in the equation that tells how many people that try heroin that will become addicted to it which in 2011, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 1.6 percent) had used heroin at least once in their lives and about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2013). When thinking of just what sort of measurers that can be taken, and with the percentage of users that are intervenes users, the action taken must be taken seriously and for the good of everyone. The addict lifestyle—where heroin users often share their needles—leads to AIDS and other contagious infections. It is estimated that of the 35,000 new hepatitis C2 (liver disease) infections each year in the United States, over 70% are from drug users who use needles. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2013) Statistics, this large would end up affecting the entire population especially with the increase of suburban usage throughout the country. The widespread usage spike all over the country and not just the upper class and inner cities have shown us that the addict lifestyle not only impacts street addicts and movie starts, but everyone can be affected due the to the spreading of users to rural communities.
Overdoses and emergency room visits have skyrocketed across the country, officials say, and...

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