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Argumentative Essay On The Opioid Crisis

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I. Importance: As American deaths from drug overdoses continue to rise in the United States, the nation is faced with a public health crisis so profound that in October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic to be a national public health emergency (Merica). President Trump’s declaration came after numerous studies indicating the danger opioid addiction posed; for example, a 2016 study entitled “Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths—United States, 2010-2015” claimed that drug overdose deaths “nearly tripled during 1999-2014,” reaching a startling high 52,404 deaths in 2015 (Rudd, et al). These statistics are more than just disturbing revelations regarding the opioid crisis; they are evidence of a serious problem that is rapidly affecting the lives of more and more Americans every year. Death by overdose is not the only public policy concern, however, as millions of Americans are also addicted to prescription opioids. In fact, according to the Centers…show more content…
Underlying Causes: The increase in the sale of opioids is considered to be the root of the opioid crisis, as the drugs have been proven to be highly addictive. An addiction to prescriptive opioids, however, can lead to an addiction to synthetic, illegal opioids, such as heroine or fentanyl, which are less expensive and easier to acquire. In fact, in their journal article, “Associations of nonmedical pain reliever use and initiation of heroin use in the United States” Pradip Muhuri and associates discovered that “the recent (12 months preceding interview) heroin incidence rate was 19 times higher among those who reported prior nonmedical prescription pain reliever (NMPR) use than among those who did not (0.39 vs. 0.02 percent)” (Muhuri et. al). In other words, abusing prescription opioids significantly raises the chances of abusing illicit drugs, such as heroin. Thus, the increased prescription of addictive opiates has also helped cause the increase in addiction to illegal
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