The current heroin epidemic is the most lethal ever seen in the history of the United States. Public health authorities have raised the concern about the growing number of mortality associated with the use and abuse of heroin. Indeed, besides chronic illnesses, an overdose of heroin is one of the leading causes of deaths among American youths. This is evident as seen in 2016 where more than sixty-four thousand people perished as a result of the heroin epidemic. Efforts have been made to address America’s heroin epidemic, but it seems these efforts have not been active as the pandemic gets worse each year. More specifically, I propose to explore the current status of the heroin epidemic while focusing on the measures put in place to curb the menace. The audience of this research is stakeholders engaged in the formulation of policies and development of rehabilitation facilities aimed at containing the epidemic. This research is beneficial to the reader since it gives an in-depth knowledge about the heroin epidemic in a simple format that can easily be understood.
A Review of the Sources
The literature materials I used for compiling this research were retrieved from Google Scholar. The primary sources used in this paper focuses on America’s heroin epidemic and the contributing factors. I plan to start from the beginning, that is, the causes of America’s heroin epidemic. During my research, I used secondary sources to get the measures that can be used to address this epidemic. Through the secondary sources, I found out that policies aimed to curb abuse of drugs influence people to use heroin. Some people, especially those using heroin and other pharmaceutical opioids, can increase their use of heroin if they are cut off prescription by their doctors. Yes, this is information is concrete because by denying opioid prescription, this will cause people to resort to using heroin. However, it is not clear whether the cause of heroin use is as a result of changes in policies regarding the prescription of opioids.
Further research of the sources made it clear that heroin has affected a lot of families in the society. Heroin seems to cut across all races, although there is a high prevalence among marginalized communities such as Latinos and blacks. The social class also contributes to the heroin epidemic because a good number of users who cannot afford expensive opioids resort to using large quantities of heroin. Benefits of this proposal include making the public aware of the consequences of heroin abuse, make the user aware of the available prevention measures and explore the various policies used to restrict the prescription of opioids by pharmaceuticals (Wood 1166).
I asked myself if restrictions on opioids prescription are not doing away with the heroin epidemic in America, what caused the reemergence of this drug? After in-depth research, I was able to point the cause to the establishment of new heroin market which has expanded to become cheaper. In their text, Bowser, Fullilove, and Word explain the different marketing strategies used by heroin traffickers (Unick). They outline mobile phones as the communication strategy used in the heroin trade. This is because of how reliable it is, thus explaining why the heroine is more abused today than in the past. Increased accessibility and high quality of heroin appear to be primary. This can be related to the Mexican heroin traffickers who expanded their markets to communities which have opioid prescription problems. What came out clear is that addiction to pharmaceutical opioids contributes to the heroin epidemic. When users become used to opioids’ effects, they consume the drug in large amounts until when they cannot afford to purchase the drug anymore. Heroin, which was never thought of before, therefore becomes appealing to them since it is affordable.
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