Dear Future President,
Education about addiction, including methods in helping to rehabilitate an addict and assisting an overdosing addict should be mandatory to teach in schools. Currently in the United States, heroin is claiming many lives, from coast to coast this addiction has affected most people in some way. From adults who had gotten hooked on opiates as teenagers (opiates were given more freely to ease pain after surgery in the late 1900's, and were highly addictive, heroin is a strong and unprescribed opiate) to models looking to stay awake longer, lose weight, and party, the epidemic leaves no walk of life untouched, in 2014 alone, "900,000 adults and young adults ages 12 and older used heroin in the past year". This prompts the question of why talk about addiction and furthermore education about addiction are still relatively taboo.
Addiction has remained an attribute of the human condition for hundreds of years, therefore the lack of discussion surrounding the topic is concerning. In a high school health class, drugs are merely touched upon and symptoms of overdose are often overlooked entirely, with inevitability of drug use amongst peers, this information would save lives. Often the main concern is that education can be encouragement that propels students into what they believe is 'safe' drug use, however, proper teaching can both educate and dissuade students, "When research-based substance use prevention programs are properly implemented by schools and communities, use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs is reduced". I propose at least an optional if not mandatory course on signs of addiction and ways in which to discourage drug use amongst peers or assist in emergency situations as addiction will remain largely prevalent in our evolving world.