Dear future president,
The use of drugs or narcotics has become a common occurrence in the lives of young people, which is unfortunate to say the least. However, the stakes of using said drugs have been increased drastically due to the introduction of heroin in suburban households, which is far more dangerous than most drugs suburban teenagers were originally taking. A solution to this increase in teen heroin usage must be thought of in order to get these teens the help they need and even prevent any future usage in teens who haven’t used the drug yet.
In order to find a solution to such a problem, it must be found at the source, which many claim are prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, morphine, xanax etc.. These drugs are commonly prescribed to the parents of the teens due to various surgeries or injuries requiring such medication but often teens get their hands on them due to the parents maybe leaving them in obvious spots or the teens looking through their things for them. Once the teens find these drugs it’s easy for them to steal some from the bottle and have it go unnoticed due to their parents not taking the pills regularly. The abuse of these painkillers by teens is said to lead to an increased chance of turning to heroin for a “cheaper and more intense high”. Some of these doses of heroin costing as little as 10 dollars and providing a much more intense stimulation than that of painkillers .
Many teens, after being hooked on prescription pain meds, make the transition to heroin quickly and efficiently due to the potency and overall similarities due to being both opioids and having addictive qualities similar to that of heroin. However, heroin’s addictive qualities are so potent that it causes the user to be addicted after “just one time”, as opposed to the less potent pills that might take multiple in order to get hooked on.
The use of these hard drugs cause lives to be destroyed from their effects on the lives of these teens. Ashley was once a promising college freshman with the hopes of becoming a social worker with her steady grades and clean cut attitude, however Ashley unknowingly took the drug when smoking what she thought was hash with a friend of hers, in reality being heroin. Eventually it was too late though, “By the time she realized the truth, Ashley was hooked. Over the next year, she dropped out of school and quit her part-time job as she sank deeper into addiction.” Her entire life destroyed just because she accidently took a dose of a much more dangerous drug than she originally thought.
A more frightening thought of heroin usage is it not just destroying lives, but taking them due to fatal overdoses in the teens using. Parents devastated from hearing about their teen losing their life to the drug, many not even knowing they were addicted in the first place. But the emotional toll it takes as the find their son or daughter to have passed away and they couldn't do anything about it causes so much pain to them. Lea Heidman commented on her daughter Alyssa’s fatal overdose saying “She passed away the day after Saint Patrick's Day and she posted on Saint Patrick's Day a picture of her on her laptop, studying, doing homework, saying, "No partying for me, not even a single drink, I'm staying in and I'm-- and I'm working." And the next day she used and that was the last time she used.”. Lea’s choking up and struggle to recount the painful memories only emphasizes the pain that is caused by the use of this drug.
This growing usage of heroin in suburban homes has been called an epidemic, spreading to teens all over and taking lives, leading to the call for a solution. First, more funding should be going to rehabilitation centers in order for them to invest in both mental and physical treatment for users at facilities, this allows users to be able to get back on the road to sobriety and stay on it without having the temptation of using again. Next, we should be educating teens more on the uses and effects of the drug, allowing them to be aware of the harsh realities and pain that comes along with abusing the opioids, including the painkillers. Finally, educate the parents on how they should take care of their leftover painkillers, maybe were to hide them better or were to dispose of them if they no longer need them, this allows teens not to be able to get their hands on such and prevent them going on to harder, more dangerous drugs such as heroin.
Hopefully you have been able to take into great consideration what has been written in this letter and are able to take time in coming up with a solution to this growing issue in our country. Thank you for taking the time to read this and good luck with your presidential run.
"Heroin in the Heartland." N.p., n.d. Web.
Williams, By Matthew. "Is Prescription Drug Abuse a Big Concern?" KQED Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2016.
Https://www.facebook.com/therecoveryvillage/. "Can You Become Addicted to Heroin the First Time?" The Recovery Village Florida Drug Rehab Center. N.p., 01 Nov. 2016. Web. 09 Nov. 2016.
Sullivan, Andrew. "Addicted to Heroin: 'I'm Literally Just Rotting'" ABC News. ABC News Network, 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 09 Nov. 2016.