Although I will not be voting until the 2020 election, I pay close attention to the news and to politics, especially during election year. The problem I am going to write about has been addressed by both presidential candidates, and both agree that it is a major problem in America. This problem, or, “quiet epidemic,” as Hillary Clinton calls it, is heroin use.
As said by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, “In 2016, an estimated 9.2 million people in the world use heroin, 1.2 million of them being Americans. Heroin accounts for 18% of the admissions for drug and alcohol treatment in the U.S.,” this shows that almost a quarter of the people admitted for drug and alcohol treatment are there because they are addicted to alcohol. Around 78 of people in the U.S. die everyday from overdosing on heroin.
The question is, what is the U.S. government doing to prevent heroin use? According to The White House Website, right now, the government is acting on President Obama's proposal for one point one billion dollars in new funding to help every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment get the help they need. The article concerning this matter states, “In March, President Obama announced the following Administrative actions: expanding access to treatment, establishing a mental health and substance use disorder parity task force, expanding public health-public safety partnerships to combat the spread of heroin, and much more.” By doing this, more attention will be brought to the serious issue at hand.
Heroin use does not only affect the users who are addicted to, or dying from, the drug. Yes, heroin use affects the users by ruining their lives. The users, when becoming addicted, need the drug everyday or they feel as if they cannot function. People are killing others, prostituting themselves, and wasting their money on heroin every single day. Family members of heroin users are also affected by the drug. They have to watch their loved ones, their mothers, fathers, children, etc., ruin themselves and lose themselves to the drug. Just this month, in my community, there have been two instances in the news where parents were found overdosed in their car with children in the back. Essentially, I am arguing that America as a whole is being affected by this growing problem and something needs to be done to stop it. If heroin use is not stopped soon, more Americans will become addicted and more Americans will lose their lives, everyday. Knowing this, stricter laws need to be passed about heroin use and even more treatment centers need to be created. More security on packages and mail coming into the United States may help decrease the amount of drugs coming in from other countries. There are hundreds of ways to help the heroin epidemic, and we must start now.
“Get the Facts About Painkillers, Marijuana, Cocaine, Meth, and Other Illegal Drugs.” Foundation for a Drug-Free World. N.p., n.p. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
“Obama Administration Announces Additional Actions to Address the Prescription Opioid Abuse and Heroin Epidemic.” The White House. The White House, 29 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
“What Can Be Done for a Heroin Overdose?” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., n.p. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.