Allison H. Virginia

Dear President

Heroin Usage in Teens and Young Adults

Dear President of the United States,

Thank you, for the opportunity to address some issues that I feel get overlooked day by day. Heroin is a highly addictive drug that is increasing in popularity. Originally heroin was introduced to doctors as a cough suppressant and analgesic to help with illnesses: such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. However, today in the United States there is no legal medical use: considering it has been found to be a powerful opiate narcotic. So, why are we seeing such an increase in usage yet nothing being done? It's a problem in the small town I live in and all over the world, teens my age go out to parties and do not realize what their getting themselves into and succumb to the peer pressure. β€œ900,000 adults and young adults ages 12 and older used heroin in the past year,” just in the United States. That's not even putting into account for the 586,000 of those individuals who are suffering from a heroin use disorder. Heroin is taking away the lives of young teens simply because they are not aware of the effects and underestimate the strength of one use. In 2014, nearly 10,500 deaths were from heroin overdoses. That's only in 2014, its 2016 almost 2017 and there is still no change, nothing is being done for prevention as the number of users and deaths continue to increase.

β€œHeroin is converted to morphine in the brain, and the morphine molecules then produce pain-relieving and euphoric effects in users by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord.The chemical structure of heroin allows it to enter the brain more quickly than morphine, so the effects of heroin are felt more quickly and more strongly than those of an equivalent amount of morphine.” Abusers take higher dosages to simulate the same high as morphine. The reason why heroin is commonly used today is because it's an easy accessible drug and cheap. One small bag can range from $10-15. People do not consider the long term effects because there is no awareness for heroin usage versus cigarettes. Although, almost every time I watch TV I see a commercial about how teens can stop smoking and why it is so bad for us. Just because the numbers in teen smokers have decreased does not mean they have not increased for another drug. Studies show that 91,000 people will try heroin over the age of 12.

I suggest we start making a change and make young people aware, make parents aware. The stereotype for the typical heroin addict has changed. It is not someone who's wearing raggedy clothes, but instead your best friend that comes from a upper middle class family. That is why it is so hard to tell if a person has an addiction problem. Whether their child is locked up in their room or out with friends they could easily be doing drugs without their parents knowing. Prevention programs need to take place to make a change for the future generation of our country. There is not enough awareness for this issue, therefore people are less informed that it is such a problem. But if the United States creates more awareness people will see that heroin is being used by teens whether it being their child or not. It will help the next generation turn around. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Allison Hall

Works Cited Page

NewportAcademy. "Teen Heroin Use: Facts and Myths - Newport Academy." Newport Academy. N.p., 15 July 2016. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

Lizmarie Maldonado, M.S. in Public Health. "Heroin Death Rates | How Heroin Kills." Heroin Death Rates | How Heroin Kills. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

Maclaren Erik. "Heroin History and Statistics." N.p., 17 May 2016. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

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