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Drug Abuse Is Reaching Critical Mass

There is definitely a growing drug abuse in the United States. The amount of Americans addicted to heroin and methamphetamine is spiraling out of control. Our criminal justice system is overwhelmed with arrests for addicts and dealers and is struggling to handle the caseload. Amidst this epidemic America’s hardline stance on drug abuse is getting some criticism. Rather than look at drug addicts as victims who suffer from a disease, some people feel addicts are seen as criminals who break the law without regard for consequences. This is a very problematic way to look at drug abuse, and is one of the contributing factors behind our jails and prisons becoming overcrowded.

Strict drug laws aren’t doing much to combat the growing problem of substance abuse. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control shows that heroin use has increased over 60% in the past decade. Americans across the country are falling victim to this dangerous drug.

Death from Heroin Overdose

In Buffalo, New York, a person has died from a heroin overdose every day for the first ten days of March. If that is not scary enough, a total of 25 Buffalo residents have died from heroin overdoses since the beginning of 2016. In Michigan, deaths from heroin and OxyContin overdoses have risen by 14% in 2014 and continue to climb. In North Carolina alone, 1,380 people died from heroin overdoses in 2015.

Rehabilitating Prisoners in Prison

Lawmakers have been trying to find a way to get drugs off of our streets for some time, but nothing has been working. Legislators are starting to see that draconian laws are not a deterrent. Congress has recently proposed a law that is aimed at helping heroin addicts rather than punishing them. Under this new law, even drug addicts in prison will be sent to rehabilitation clinics where they can try to beat their addiction. With this new law comes stricter regulations for a prescription for painkillers like morphine and OxyContin, which are said to be the gateway drugs that throw users into a cycle of drug abuse and dependency.

Fighting Heroin Addiction

Drug Abuse

Heroin addiction is brutal. It’s suffocating. It traps people in a cycle where they need to take maintenance doses just to get through the day. It destroys families, friendships, and lives. Here are some ways you can help combat this growing problem:

Consider alternative pain medications and treatments rather than narcotics.

If you are being prescribed opioids talk to your doctor and find out what you can do to prevent addiction.

Lock your medication away from your children.

Don’t hold onto controlled substances. If you don’t finish a prescription of pain pills, safely dispose of them. You can contact your local police department for help with disposing on any unused drugs.

Understand that addiction can happen to anyone, even you.

Just because painkillers are legal and prescribed doesn’t make them any less dangerous than heroin. Many people became addicted to heroin after experimenting with pain pills.

Drug Abuse Conclusion

In order to better protect our communities, we need to combat this problem. The war on drugs is an abstract war. It is not against a tangible enemy. You don’t win the war on drugs by cracking zero tolerance policies that lock first-time offenders away in prison. You win the war on drugs through rehabilitation and education.